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Neal by The Cross

Neal by The Cross

A Story by InnerSpirit

“Neal by the Cross” … 

On the corner of Las Vegas and Oakley Boulevards stands a drug store which has gone by the name “White Cross Drugs”. White Cross Drugs has been the source of medicines and incidentals for 57 years to people as famous as Elvis and as well-known as Ludacris, Rat-Pack even Liza Minnelli!

March 6th ended the 57 year stretch, they closed their doors for the final time, and this store was a much loved, sort of a historical landmark for many. 

Across the street from White Cross Drug Store sits a man in his wheelchair staring at the word Cross. Neal is a quiet man, quiet but maybe not for the reason you think. You see, living on the streets he has not been so lucky, one night he was beat up so badly, his vocal cords were crushed and had to be removed. 

Now, Neal sits quietly waiting for someone to speak to him " someone who might understand him " as the people come in and out of the White Cross Drug Store and as the hustle and bustle of S. Las Vegas Blvd goes by. 

As parents, 20 years seems to go very quickly, we seemingly blink and it’s gone; the children are grown and in college or on their own. 

I am most certain 20 years has not been so short for Neal, nor filled with fun loving family vacations and photo-captured memories. 

Originally from Kansas City, he finds himself on the side of the road in Old Vegas. Neal was a bill collector once upon a time and seemed to have the ground pulled out from under him. 
Now all his wishes are for is a pad of paper and a pen so that he might have a way to communicate with people.

Fortunately for “Neal by the Cross” our entourage at “Stone to Bread” drove by him this day; because Bill learned how to read lips by a co-worker who was deaf. Bill was so curious how this is done, he asked his co-worker to show him… never did Bill fathom how very important this talent would be, one day. 

As he stands there watching Neal talk, he asked him… about his life on the streets and where he sleeps. He told Bill he sleeps beside the “Chapel of Flowers”, just west of where he sits and there are a few of them that reside in that spot.

Amongst all the lights and glam of Las Vegas, there is a side to Vegas, a side most don’t take as a memory of their trip to Sin City, yet one we will never forget. A fairly decent portion of the home-lost community in Vegas came in search of the fortune that is so easily mistaken for happiness. They now find a lesson has blessed their spirits from being lost on the street, despite the dirty, torn clothes and the sparse food. The blessing is spoken to us in silence… the happiness they were in search for at one time is what most of us take for granted, now. A job, a car payment, a mortgage/rent payment, a hot shower, a hot meal, a simple pad of paper and pen…

Neal by the Cross " you have blessed us more than you can ever imagine, THANK YOU!

© 2012 InnerSpirit

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Added on June 23, 2012
Last Updated on June 23, 2012
Tags: home, lost, community, gift, blessings, love, compassion, help, friend, true story



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