I had never been to New Orleans, so a few months after I got out of the Army I decided to go there. I planned to visit a friend, Emma, who lived in Slidell, and see New Orleans at the same time.
One afternoon while waiting for Emma to get off work, I was relaxing on a bench in the main plaza of the French Quarter. A young boy came up to me and said, "Do you have any spare change, mister?" I just brushed him off.
There was an old homeless man sitting on the next bench who overheard this exchange. He said, "Come here, kid." He reached into the pocket of his ragged brown pants and gave the boy a couple of quarters.
I've never felt so small.