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On The Streets In Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Being Free and in the Wilds is Often More A State of Mind Than A State Of Body....

.....and Much Good Could And Is Said of Those Who Survive In the Wastelands Within Our Own Cities....

Duke and Heather were alway an Item for as long as I remember, and I've know them for quite some time. They were always booting around on their BMX's, touching bases with their friends and trying their best to make ends meet. Living as they were, sometimes having a place to call home, sometimes not, the stresses in their lives were high, yet they always seemed to be innovative and, for the most part, make things work out.

So, as the story goes, the ups and downs in life continued for them until something happened that changed the direction of their lives. Heather became pregnant.

I remember sitting in the parking lot smoking with Duke and, as guys do, we were talking about about girls and family. I wasn't having much luck with either and was feeling pretty morose about it, so I was being fairly silent, comfortable with letting Duke have his say. Duke on the other hand, had quite a bit to say, but when it came right down to the base-line, only a couple things came through clearly: He was madly in Love with Heather and secondly, he really wanted to change his life and become a good father...but didn't know how.

He swore that if he ever lost Heather, his life would completely lose meaning. He admitted that they had been having a rough time lately and it was frustrating him because, he said, he really and truly wanted to settle down and make a go of what he called "The John Doe" life. You know, having a place home to call home, maybe get a job that actually paid real money instead of the pitance that so many offered....

We talk for quite a while that night and when we parted, I had the feeling that he was well one the way to making a good go at creating a family life, even if it was going to take a lot of work.

Two days later, I heard of his passing. It rocked me bad, real bad. In my mind, I had already seen Duke in his "John Doe Life"...I honestly believed that he was going to make it.

A bit of time has passed since then and I've spoken to a few people since then about Duke. Though he, like all of us of the "street", had his rough spots, he also had a big heart. He helped out where he could and then wrote off what he had done as unimportant...but it wasn't. He changed quite a few live for the good.

Well, Duke, to you I stand and raise my glass saying "Well done, little Bro, Well Done."

The picture posted here proves that I am not the only one who thinks like this, for it was written by some anonymous person who also, in his or her way, raised their glass to Duke


For those of you who knew Duke, I've create a Message Board that you can sign in and leave some thoughts behind.

It Has Been Said That To Be Family Is -

We May Not Walk The Same Path...But At Least We Walk In The Same Direction...

'LOST CHILD publications'
Moms Agape Street Ministry
Sign The Guest Book, Say Farewell To DUKE