MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Earl Jackson has a remarkably positive attitude and makes no excuses for his lot in life.
“Twenty-five years ago I got in trouble with the law. I went to prison for 13.5 years and then I got out. Since I got out, it’s kinda hard to find a job,” he said. “I learned over the years, no matter how nice you seem, you explain the situation, they always come up with a reason they won’t hire you.”
Instead of working for someone else, Jackson collects scrap metal and tries to earn an honest living on his own. That’s how he planned to pay for the one thing his son requested this year.
“He’s eight years old now. So I asked him what he wanted for Christmas. He said he wanted a four-wheeler. I’ve been working. That’s what I been doing,” Jackson said.
Jackson is homeless; he normally stays at a shelter.
But he’s been working and took out a small loan to buy a four-wheeler from a pawn shop.
On Christmas Eve he planned to take it to his son, so he stayed at his son’s mother’s home in Frayser. It was parked in the driveway, attached to his Chevy pickup. But he woke up around 2 in the morning when he heard something out of place.
“I was laying down asleep and I heard my truck crank up. I ran outside, it was going down the street,” he said.
Someone had stolen both his truck and the present.
He called police, but that could take a while and Christmas is a day away.
He doesn’t know how to tell his son, but he does know he’ll do it the way right way.
If his son learns anything from Dad, it’s that you still count your blessings: what you have rather than what you don’t.
“Something good is going to come out of this here. That’s the only way to look at it,” he said.
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