Donald standing next to his only source of transportation (Alexander Douglass / HS Insider)
California State University, San Bernardino

Life on the abandoned road

“They took my life away when they took my keys,” said Donald, a Seccombe Park resident who did not provide a last name due to confidentiality reasons.

This is what Donald told me when I started interviewing him in the park.

While growing up he said he “always felt like a b—–d. If my mom didn’t want me, why the f–k would the world would want me?”

He said that he lived in foster care growing up and that he never met his father until he was in his mid-20s.

When he finally met his father, he simply shook his hand, said nothing and just walked away.

Donald has not seen his children for a while and that they are living out in Oklahoma.

He had been a truck driver for 22 years and was originally from Arkansas, but eventually made his way out to California.

“See the world but don’t drive the world. The world God created. I got to see different areas all year-round. I probably got a million miles a year,” he said.

His favorite place was Philadelphia due to the history.

He detailed some of the things that he has been up to lately.

“I had a small aneurysm last night,” said Donald. “I have them frequently now.”

He detailed that he lost his license to which he devoted so many years of his life to when he had an aneurysm.

This caused a problem within his life because he could not get a job anywhere else as he only had a background in truck driving

“It’s the doctor’s fault. When they took my keys away, they took my life away,” he said.

He currently rides his bike around and fixes up bikes to sell.

The furthest he has ridden was to Newport Beach, where he has gone to twice now and loves because “you ain’t got no ocean front in Arkansas.”

Now he collects plastic bottles to sell for money, but he says he is very handy when it comes to building things.

“A few years when tent city was a tent city, I had built a house across the street,” referring to across the street from Seccombe Park. “Of course it was destroyed. Things don’t last long due to thieves. I can’t stand a thief.”

He said he had built a shelter out of wood and plastic years ago without any nails or screws. Of course, he had said it was eventually destroyed too.

“I just want people to realize is what life has given them. I built a house with no screws. No nails. No rope. No wire. And I built a house,” said Donald.