Beaton: Begging for Christmas | AspenTimes.com:
"My recent column, “Panhandling in Paradise,” (The Aspen Times, Aug. 7)described my panhandling experience here in Aspen. You can find it again at http://bit.ly/2aJ1BaB. Spoiler alert: Someone gave me a $100 bill.
But panhandling is not always paradise.
I recently panhandled for a day in the town where I grew up, Colorado Springs.
...The town is home to lots of homeless people these days, and panhandlers are common.
I knew I wouldn’t be the spectacle that I was in Aspen, where panhandling is not only unusual but illegal.
In the back of my BMW I found my cardboard sign reading “SURVIVED CANCER BUT LOST MY JOB” (which happens to be true, though a bit misleading).
It had gotten a little clean in my trunk, so I dirtied it.
Then I put on old jeans and a tattered shirt and set out.
I sincerely hoped that none of my childhood friends would recognize me, but, if they did,
I hoped they would give me money.
My mother, who still lives in town, probably shared the first hope if not the second.
This occupation is embarrassing at first.
After an hour, however, you get over it and wonder why you’re not making more money.
Unless you’ve been a beggar, you can’t imagine how people look while pretending not to see.
I do it, and so do you..."