Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Same Kind of Different as Me (copy)

Denver Moore had many experiences in his life. He worked in the cotton fields as a child. His payment being a token he could spend only at “da man’s” store. He watched his grandparents’ shack burn to the ground with his beloved Big Mama inside after attempts to wake her failed. He was pulled behind a galloping horse with a noose around his neck until the skin peeled off, “like a rabbit ready for the skillet.” Amazingly, in his 44 years of life, Miss Debbie was his first real conversation with a white woman.

Ron Hall grew up a sharecropper’s son in the mean sun of Texas. He worked the cotton fields, studied, went to college, and met the girl of his dreams, Deborah—then the draft letter arrived in the mail.

After returning from Vietnam, Ron took a salesman job with Campbell’s Soup. Arranging cans and dusting off green-pea soup tops at area grocery stores, he soon became bored. He quit and moved into the banking business. To earn extra money, for his new wife Debbie, he began to sell art work. He quit the bank the day he sold a Charles Russell for a commission larger than his salary.

As Ron’s material wealth bloomed, Denver sank deeper into poverty. Ron opened a gallery and Denver slept two blocks away in an alley. The two were destined to meet as Denver committed a smash and grab on Ron’s gallery.

Same Kind of Different as Me: a Modern-day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman who Bound them Together by Ron Hall and Denver Moore is the perfect read for Black History Month and Valentine’s Day. Denver felt he was different as his loved ones died or moved away and his opportunities dwindled. Even amongst the homeless, he could not shake his feeling of being apart. Ron felt he was different, too.

It was an earth shattering day when the two realized everyone is different. We all bump around thinking we are, but this true story points out there is common ground. It was Debbie who made the connection in this book. She was the one who held a budding friendship together even after she died, as Ron leaned heavily on the unschooled Denver’s poignant words and belief in God.

Be inspired by this story of commonality through God’s love.

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