Son of a preacher man

Al just sat on his bike with the sweetest smile, listening to a conversation I was having with another street warrior. He watched me do a portrait with interest. I turned to him and stated that I had never seen him here at The Breakfast. He said he came from time to time. He seemed like a real nice guy to me. We began to talk. Years ago his father was a minister at a local church. He reminisced of his childhood. He laughed, "I had to attend Sunday School every week without fail. I sang in the choir. I was a good boy." But things began to unravel when they found Al's dad face down in the Providence River. Another murder never solved. Al was just a boy when this happened. Fortunately, his mother was a strong woman. She went on to raise all seven kids by herself, at the same time getting her nursing degree along the way. Al trained to become a machinist and made good money, "$18 per hour." he said. Sadly, during the recession, he was laid off and things went south. He told me he never drank but admitted he started on "The Weed." He added that now he's over that, still hoping for a job. And he's still smiling.