The Dancing Panhandler


On the way that I drive most often to Detroit, this guy is a fixture at the entrance to or from the freeway. He has been on the corner for at least six years. Some of the others asking for money just sit in a chair or stand with a sign.

This guy is moving all the time while the cars are waiting for the lights to change. He bows to his audience. He holds up the sign and moves it all around. He holds the sign in one hand and tries to catch the eye of each motorist.

I have seen him at the beginning of my drive and when coming back. He works hard at it. I have also caught him stamping his feet in anger in the rear view mirror when he doesn’t get anything.

I have wondered how much does he get per day? Who does he go home to?


9 thoughts on “The Dancing Panhandler

  1. I used to have a similar experience in Berkeley, california. I once watched how at 5pm there was a shift change. A car picked up our happy dancing panhandler and out of the car came another one to take his place. I would leave each morning with a set of change and distribute t/o the day. It was, what it was. I dont do that in nyc.

    • By the way, I graduated from UC Berkeley in 1970. There were so many panhandlers. The incident I remember from those days was when I took my daughter to a movie. Outside the movie, there were panhandlers. I talked to my daughter since we had just enough money for the movie, one treat each and bus fare. We agreed to give one treat. The theater doors opened the panhandlers, my daughter and I all went to the same movie.i learned that when I give, there is no control on how it would be used. It has been a helpful lesson with my kids.

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