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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Ohio
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    955

    So sad: Man, 70 puts ad in paper, just wants a friend

    This is so sad....
    Wish we could do something for him.

    All alone

    Rini Caudill
    The Chronicle-Telegram

    ELYRIA — The plea was heartrending.
    “Friend needed to talk to and visit with me in my home. Desperately need friendship and companionship.”
    The tiny lines of black ink gave no clue, no details to explain how a life becomes so desolate a person would place an ad for a friend — in the Help Wanted section.
    A phone number — 323-0966 — was listed.
    Dennis Sprouse is 70. He lives with the help of oxygen tanks and walks with a cane. He is all alone in his apartment. He misses life.
    “I’m just a tired, depressed man. I’m lonely,” he said, watching a black and white war movie from his living room recliner. “I practically live in this chair.”
    His most constant companion these days is Jesus.
    “I ask Him to just send me somebody, a friend, somebody I could talk to, pray with,” he said. “So far, He hasn’t answered.”
    Once there was life, lots of it. He grew up on a dairy farm in Sandusky, then served in two branches of the military — the Army and the Navy. He fought in Korea, was shot in the stomach at the Choisin Reservoir and was awarded a Silver Star for bravery.
    “I remember what I got the star for, I just don’t want to talk about it,” he said. “We lost six men that day. I always blamed myself for that, but people tell me I helped save the others.”
    A car accident more than a decade ago broke his legs and his back, stealing his mobility.
    A chronic respiratory infection steals his breath, tethering him to oxygen.
    He used to love golfing and dancing and all kinds of music “except that rap and heavy metal. I don’t get that.” He proudly points to his collection of LPs that range from classical to Gershwin to musical scores. He loved to play rummy and pinochle.
    “I was big time; I was the life of the party. I’d get people to dance.”
    He has thought about buying a game system so he could still play golf from his recliner, but Social Security doesn’t stretch to fit such a luxury.
    “By the time I get around to paying my rent and my utilities, I don’t have a hell of a lot left.”
    He likes to read, especially murder mysteries and detective stories. He likes movies about war and gangsters, but not romance. “I don’t like those lovey-doveys they show on TV. Most of ’em don’t make no damn sense to me.”
    The outside edges of his world starting shrinking while he was still a child. He was born in Steubenville, and lived a few doors down from a scappy boy named “Dino.”
    “Dino” grew up to be Dean Martin. Dennis Sprouse grew up to be lonely.
    He was one of nine children. The family moved to Lorain when his father was transferred to the steel mill there, then National Tube.
    But his mother died when he was very young, and his father was forced to split his children up between relatives because he couldn’t raise them alone. Sprouse went to live with an aunt and uncle, separated from his siblings and his father.
    He had friends, once. He was a member of several local veterans organizations. He worked at National Tube for a while, then worked at a series of jobs as a laborer until retiring in 1986. He was even married — but it ended recently after nearly 30 years. “My wife is gone,” is all he’ll say. He has no children. All of his siblings, except one brother who lives in Florida, are deceased.
    “There’s an old saying, ‘Out of sight, out of mind.’ If they don’t see you, they forget you.”
    He keeps a yellow calendar taped to the wall next to his chair “to remind me what day it is.” A handful of Christmas cards are still hanging from a wall next to his tiny kitchen. A neighbor checks on him and runs errands for him. A visiting nurse comes occasionally. Sometimes the pastor of the church around the corner will come and get him and take him to a service. He used to attend a Presbyterian church in Lorain before his disabilities took even that away.
    His ad earlier this month generated a few calls; only one person came, but he never returned. He doesn’t want his picture in the paper; he doesn’t want his old acquaintances to see him the way he is now.
    “I’m a young 70. People used to tell me I act like I’m 50,” he said. “I’m not cranky. I’ve had people tell me I’m disgustingly quiet and polite.”
    “The worst part of this is, I’m so lonely. Sometimes I just sit here and cry,” he said, looking away. “I shouldn’t have told you that. A man’s not supposed to do that.”
    “But even with all this, I feel blessed because I know God is here with me, helping me through this,” he said. “I put everything in God’s hands. I have to trust in Him, it’s all I can do.”

  2. #2
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    Aug 2003
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    In heels
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    Makes you appreciate what you have in life

    Thanx for posting that story Marie

  3. #3
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    Aug 2003
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    7,454
    All the lonely people.

    Makes me wish I could do something for him .

    And all the others.

    Alpharee if this in your area, what about calling the VFW , surely another old soldier could spare the time to chat and visit? Or a Seniors Club? Or AARP?

    Things like this really bug me.
    Last edited by Newswolf; 01-30-2004 at 09:36 PM. Reason: to add
    Just my opinion

  4. #4
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    Aug 2003
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    Michigan
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    I know this isn't the same thing as being there, but Do you think we could find an address and all of us send him postcards or something. Anything to cheer this poor man up?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    the Charlotte area
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    301
    That is so incredibly sad. I feel so bad for elderly people who are left alone.

    I hope that some freak doesn't prey on him, after reading his ad in the paper. I have heard so many stories about people preying on lonely, elderly people. It's sad what people will do to get someone else's money.

    I am in, for a postcard mass mailing. I hope we can get an address.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Native Texan, In Germany
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    2,195
    I've got the address and the home phone, my friend lives nearby and is co-founder of an assisted living center. I will do what I can for him, bless his heart!!

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention, alpharee. Maybe my buddy can get him a P.O.Box, or accept his mail and then deliver it to him. I know we can come up with something.

    xoxoxox to all, Lanie

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    3,521
    Quote Originally Posted by piper1
    I know this isn't the same thing as being there, but Do you think we could find an address and all of us send him postcards or something. Anything to cheer this poor man up?

    I tried to use the reverse directory listingings using his phone number. Finally found the area code he should be in and nothing came up. In a public record search, it found a Dennis D. Sprouse, age 71 but didn't list his address unless I paid for the search. If anyone else has some ideas, it would be great. I wonder how big this town is?! What if we sent letters to the lady who wrote the article in the paper? I bet she' deliver them.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2003
    Location
    Texas
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    6,106
    How sad! Makes one heart really ache for this poor little man! If an address can be posted- I, too, would like to send him a card.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2003
    Location
    Michigan
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    I posted yesterday that I e-mailed the news paper for an address to get cards and letters to this man. I guess it disappeared. I will let you know if they respond!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    722
    Quote Originally Posted by WasBlind
    I've got the address and the home phone, my friend lives nearby and is co-founder of an assisted living center. I will do what I can for him, bless his heart!!

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention, alpharee. Maybe my buddy can get him a P.O.Box, or accept his mail and then deliver it to him. I know we can come up with something.

    xoxoxox to all, Lanie
    Lanie, you are a doll! I am going to start writing my letter right now!!


  11. #11
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    Aug 2003
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    In heels
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    Can you imagine his face when the mail man brings a sack of letters and postcards and good wishes? LOL What a great thing to do for this man.

    You know whats scary? this guy is 12 years younger then the judge they appointed in the Scott Peterson case (since removed)


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    7,454
    I'll be glad to write too.

    I just hope he gets his wish, someone to visit him and talk to him.
    Just my opinion

  13. #13
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    Nov 2003
    Location
    Alabama
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    2,807
    Sure hope you can get a PO. Box or something set up so we can all write him. It is sad to see someone that can no longer get out and about. My mother is 75 and can only leave the house to go to the doctor. She use to be on the go all the time. But thank God, we have a large family and she is not lonely. We make sure someone is with her at all times. We have Bingo parties, etc. Sure hope someone takes this gentleman under their wings.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    955
    SOrry I haven't got on here! Anyways yes I live nearby. Probably about 15 min from him. I've already thought about going to visit him myself! I'm worried to that someone will prey on him. Alot of sicko's out there.
    I think the postcards are a wonderful idea!
    If Lanie can't get something going, let me know. I have a PO Box and you guys could send cards to it and I'll hand deliver them. So Lanie let us know something as soon as you can so we can get this rolling.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Native Texan, In Germany
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    2,195
    Marie, I have not heard back from my friend yet this morning, I will try and call her later on this afternoon. But, ideally, since you are so close, I think the idea of using your P.O. Box is perfect, if you don't mind it?

    The reason I contacted her was to find out about his long term care. I know she could find folks to visit him and stuff, but he needs someone to adopt him, now, before his health falters anymore. I know I would not depend on the state to take care of me, so I was trying to figure out something for him as far as where to live, should he need to move.

    Myself and Gera can write to him, today, and mail them out on Monday. However you wish to handle it, Marie, let me know, and I can do a mass mailing called "Adopt Dennis". I already have volunteers from my prayer group for the missing.

    God bless each of you for caring for this sweet man, love Lanie

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