A Spiritual Shift – Faith & Death

Growing up, my father and I talked a lot about death. I remember late night car rides as a little boy sitting in the passenger seat asking him numerous questions about what happens when we die.

“I think dying is the greatest event that will ever happen to us,” he’d always say. He never had a specific answer on what happens, but he believed something marvelous was waiting for all of us. 

The topic of spirituality and dying would come up often on camping trips when we would watch the splendor of the stars next to crackling fires and tall pines. 

The mountains were my father’s church and I remember our spiritual talks back then felt sacred as he’d speak softly with reverence and respect for God and creation. 

While we were Catholic, we never spoke of Christ or the Holy Spirit on those trips. It was more about an all-knowing and ever present Great Spirit. A holiness found in every piece of nature, from the tips of a pine needle to a mountain top. 

My father believed in a creator. Actually, he knew the creator, it seemed. 

At three-days-old my father was adopted by an Isleta Pueblo man who raised him while practicing traditional Native medicine and ceremonies on hunting trips. 

My father as a boy with his grandfather from Isleta Pueblo

Throughout his whole childhood he was raised as a Native with traditional customs and philosophies. At age 18, just before bootcamp, my father was told he was adopted. 

Even when the news of his adoption shook his identity, my father never abandoned his spirituality. In fact, I believe his complicated life story made it stronger. 

As I got older, headed to college and started living on my own, I grew quite distant from my own spirituality. 

There were times I silently declared myself an agnostic atheist. I developed a strong skepticism about everything in the world thanks to my early start in journalism. Most of my worldview passed through a scientific lens.

Everything has an explanation. Religion is a security blanket for the unknown. It’s just brain chemistry. Psychology. Science is real. God is just a comforting figure to eclipse our fear. 

At times, I would still pray to something when life got rough or go to mass with my grandmother out of tradition. My faith evaporated.

And then on a November night, a few months before the pandemic, my world suddenly changed with a phone call and I yearned to go back to those nights with my dad by the campfires. 

Over the phone, while speaking with that same soft voice, and with complete acceptance, my dad told me he had 22 months to live. A mass was growing in his brain. Cancer. This kind wasn’t curable. 

For a few weeks, in the early days of his cancer, I would listen to him talk of God and the Creator again just like we did on those car rides and camping trips. 

He’d pray over the phone, and I would say “amen” at the end in an awkward way, but I did it for him. 

My wife was on the verge of giving birth to our baby, so we could not travel to see him at his home in Michigan. 

Then the pandemic arrived and he became absolutely terrified of what it would do to us if we traveled to see him, so we respected his wishes not to travel. 

We spoke everynight over video or phone and eventually I’d join in on the prayers.

“Amens,” became easier and then I found myself praying at night to a Creator while I laid in bed staring at the ceiling, wishing the stars would shine through. 

I wasn’t sure if anybody was listening. I was hoping someone was. I prayed for my father to have a good journey. 

As the cancer began to fog my father’s cognition, his spirit never crumbled. The end was coming fast and I knew every phone call, every word he could speak became valuable like diamonds. 

Eventually, after the vaccines rolled out and we convinced my father it was safe for us to travel, we saw him and he was finally able to see his new granddaughter. That was a huge relief for everyone. 

My father meeting Ellie, his granddaughter for the first time a few months before he passed.

On a summer day, during a visit with my dad, I knew it was potentially the last time I would ever see him alive. My flight was leaving in a few hours and my brother and I spent time with him at his bedside before we left. 

I kneed over him and prayed to a creator while holding his hand. His eyes were closed, but he was listening. 


I placed my head on his chest like a little boy again. One last time to hear his heart.

As I braced myself for the final goodbye and for the eventual crash of tears and mess I would be walking out the bedroom door, something profound and abstract happened. 

It’s hard to explain. I felt a deep, heavy presence in that room. I didn’t see anything, but I felt something….peaceful and strong. 

There, next to my father’s bed, I didn’t feel any ounce of sadness. I didn’t feel any pain of impending loss. I didn’t feel the need to cry. 

I felt a powerful message of acceptance and reassurance.

It wasn’t a voice, but there was a feeling—a powerful presence was clearly communicating with me in an abstract way that everything was going to be okay.

Right then and there, I didn’t believe my dad was on the verge of going to a wonderful place. I knew it.

I left my father’s bedroom with a profound sense of spiritual peace I’ve never felt before and I remember during the car ride to the airport feeling like I’ve been given a gift–a glance in a window of something wonderful.

My father one month before he passed in 2021.

The science part of my brain and the skeptical side of my thinking often tries to reconcile that feeling. 

It’s just brain chemistry. It’s psychological. It’s just a mental airbag I created to ease the slow crash of my father’s passing. 

Yet, when I try to listen to this reasoning within myself, I feel like I’m trying to take this profound experience and squeeze it through a key keyhole of a majestic, beautiful door that is already open and unlocked. 

I feel a vastness to my spirituality and a relatedness to creation again, even nearly two years after that powerful moment. It changed my life. 

I still pray today and when I hike alone through tall pines and under blue skies, I meditate on creation and my father’s spirit. 

I know my father is with the Creator now and there have been times when I deeply felt my father’s presence with me. 

In that bedroom, there was something strong with love and peace that gave a sense of wellbeing. 

I’ll never forget the feeling. 

I knew in my soul my father was about to experience the greatest moment of his life. 

See you next year, Twitter

Twitter is at its best when we can see instantaneous news, images and videos as incidents and events like natural disasters and Super Bowls unfold in real time. 

It’s often a fun place, and a crucially useful place, especially for public safety in an age of mass shootings and societal unrest. 

Ironically, Twitter has been doing what it does best as thousands of people comment and watch in realtime what seems to be its own chaotic demise.

The big unfolding event is now Twitter. 

I’m not sure where the site is going from here as people speculate about its shut down and ruin. 

I suspect Twitter will still be around for a long time, but it will end up more like an abandoned Spencers Gift shop or a disheveled department store in a defunct shopping mall. I may be wrong. 

When Twitter’s billionaire owner tweeted out a conspiracy news site soon after his $44 billion dollar purchase, then claimed he wants the site to be an accurate place for news, I knew the bird was headed straight for the glass window. 

Mix in massive Twitter resignations and the owner’s unbridled arrogance, and now the site has become weird.

Twitter is not an electric car or a rocket. Twitter is its own society and when you try to box it up, and sell it back for $8, it ain’t gonna love you back. Musk doesn’t seem to get it.

In 2008, when I first tweeted and started using the platform to share real time observations and news as a local journalist, there was a sense of new magic as Twitter evolved into one of the greatest tools for news dissemination. 

Now it’s the greatest tool for tools who see Musk as some sort of genuine humanitarian and savior of social media.

I’ve always had my issues with Twitter, with its inherent problems of misinformation and toxic anonymous trolls. However, those issues were tolerable when we’d all collectively comment on Super Bowl shows or express disgust when our Capitol was overrun by an angry and gullible mob. 

Twitter doesn’t feel the same and I’m going to step back and come back in 2023 after the holidays and see how our beloved hellscape has improved. 

I’m taking a break to focus on Christmas lights and spoiling my toddler. You can find me on Instagram and Facebook in the meantime.

I hope all of you who follow me on Twitter have a great holiday season and awesome New Year. 

See you next year!

The taco truck some people think has a racist name (don’t worry, it’s not)

Some of the best tacos I’ve had in Denver come from a taco truck with a growing reputation as one of the best food trucks in the metro area. 

Are you ready for the name? Take a breath. It’s not what some of you think it means. 

Kiké’s Red Tacos. 

Hold off on clutching your taco bibs for a minute and let’s serve up some context here. 
Kiké is a Hispanic/Latino nickname that is short for Enrique. It’s pronounced KEE-KAY. A professional baseball player has the name, along with many other athletes and other notables.

I bragged about my Kiké’s lunch the other day on Twitter with the slight hunch and expectation one or two people would lose their lunch over the name.

“The tacos look delish but you know Kike is a well known very offensive derogatory slang term for a Jewish person right ?,” one of my followers asked. 

The same user followed up, suggesting I shouldn’t have posted a photo of the truck. 

“My point is that Jeremy should eat as many tacos as he would like at this truck and tell all his friends personally but he doesn’t have to post the photo which contains a name which is an ethnic slur to Jewish people,” the user wrote. 

“Unfortunate name,” another Twitter person wrote. 

Other Twitter people expressed mild surprise at the name but seemed to quickly understand there is no racial intent and that a dude in a taco truck is not out to sling hate. 

Look at these beauties.

I reached out to Kiké’s Red Tacos over Instagram and the person responding told me they are of Mexican descent and that the name is so common to them, they were not aware of the negative connotation.

Kiké’s told me they constantly have to deal with offended people who say they won’t show up to eat. Other people have showed up with cell phones recording video while asking food truck workers about the name. 

Eventually Kiké’s added the accent over the “e” in their branding hoping that would help mitigate the unwanted hate, but there are still people out there who can’t digest the fact words outside of their own culture have different meanings. 

And Kiké’s is not the first Spanish word/name to offend the misunderstood. 

Crayola often has to defend itself from people who see the label “negro” on their black crayons as racist. The word means “black” in Spanish and is part of an effort to help kids learn other languages.

One of my Twitter followers posed a perfect question about this issue. 

“25 years ago I worked with a Korean woman whose name was Koon,” David wrote. “It was painful for me to say but it is her name. Should she have been forced to change it for my comfort?” 

As I was putting this post together I reached out to Jeremy Shaver at the Mountain States Anti-Defamation League, which tracks antisemitic incidents.

He told me some people have actually called the ADL with concerns about Kiké’s taco truck in the past. He said the ADL has used the opportunity to explain the true intent of the name. 

“Once people understand the cultural context they are usually relieved,” Shaver said. “We do not see the taco truck’s name as racist, antisemitic or offensive because there is absolutely no intent in using the name as a slur.” 

Over the last few weeks I’ve been gaining some of my Spanish proficiency back with mini daily lessons on my phone. I’m reminded how language is a glue of culture and an identifier. 

But if we immediately expect others to conform to our own native language and hide their identity for our own personal comfort, that ain’t American and it’s just in bad taste. 

So you’re furious at the weather person….


Hello there, Friend. 


Visualize and pretend with me. 

Welcome to my little tranquil room. In the corner I have Yanni playing.

There’s a nice little indoor waterfall over there. 

Take a seat here with me on my nice plush imaginary couch. 

That’s nice. 

I hope you like the scent of my incense because I know you’re incensed….get it?

Haha. Sorry. 

You’re here because you’re angry at a weather person. 

Maybe their forecast was a bit off and it ruined your day.

Life is over. It’s done.

This day that was supposed to be snowy and stormy (but instead is kinda nice) will no doubt cascade into a series of catastrophes that will impact your descendants and your legacy.


It’s not that bad. But I know why you’re here.

Maybe you picked up your iPhone and you popped a vein on your head as you furiously typed out insults to the people who are trying their best to predict the future. 

I feel you. 

We have accurate bank transactions, useless Amazon orders delivered in hours, and hand-held devices that give us dog farting videos in seconds when we want it, whenever we want.

Why can’t that damn massive storm system that is spanning half the continent do exactly what I was told it would do? Like….right now?

I’m not a weather expert, but I am familiar with anger and entitlement.

You see, I used to be like you. 

When I was about five years old, when I didn’t get a cookie, I lost it. Thank god Twitter didn’t exist back then, otherwise the Nabisco account would have been crumbled.

When things don’t go our way in this instant-drive-thru, pin-drop-food-delivery world, that indifferent bitch of Mother Nature just does what she wants.  

She just can’t be controlled. She just doesn’t care.

And the weather person we expect to reign her in with all of those fancy maps, models and all that bar graph stuff just can’t do it for us anymore. So it’s gotta be their fault.

I know you’re probably still seething if you’ve made it this far. And that’s okay, Friend. 

But before you storm out of here as I talk about the unpredictability of the weather, let me just help you find some perspective before you lash out at weather people who are definitely not trying to jack you over.

Humanity has been on this planet for tens of thousands of years and we’ve barely, JUST BARELY, started our attempts at broadcasting forecasts in the 1950s.

The first weatherman for the BBC lived until 2009.

Your ancestors, who likely traveled across unknown lands and dangerous seas to get here so they could make a family tree with you in it had no idea what the weather was going to do from one hour to the next.

Boy, I’d bet they’d be angry to learn their great-great-great-great grandson is now uncomfortable with what he was told on this magic box with moving pictures. All that travel for nuthin’

Mother Nature has been around these parts for much longer we have…give or take a few billion years in this 13-billion old universe.

We’ve got a lot to learn still, but most of us know she is still vastly unpredictable given our very short time trying to see what she’s gonna do.

So before you get angry, and berate the weather guy or woman for not getting it exact…..be like mother nature.

Just keep moving and don’t let the electronics control you.

After all, anger in this age is so predictable.

On getting duped

Years ago, about age 22, I was walking down the street in New York City on a visit when I came across a small crowd of people huddled around a small table. They were yelling with excitement and glee as a dealer in the center of the crowd shuffled cards and handled cash. 

Me, being curious and oblivious to how dumb I was, I let my gulliblity take over. A very friendly person from the mob invited me to check out the scene. 

The whole crowd cheered me on as I was convinced to bet $60 on a card game. All I had to do was pick the right card out of three, and I’d double my money. Easy. No problem. 

I threw down the cash and the dealer began moving the cards. I kept my eye on the “money card” I was sure would never escape my sight. 

Someone distracted me just before I was about to pick the money card. I can’t recall what the distraction was. I think they told me I dropped my keys. When I looked away from the table, the dealer, of course, switched the card. 

I just got suckered by the old three card monte scam


My money was gone in about 45 seconds and the mob of shills took off like flies.  

I stood there young and stupid. 

After losing the money, another passerby who knew what happened walked by me and said “You must not be from around here. You just got scammed by all of them, Son. You got duped.”

This moment for me, while brief, was a defining moment in my life. 

It was extremely hard for me to accept the fact I got fooled by a mob. They were happy, friendly people. They invited me in. They made me feel at ease and welcome. 

I remember for many many weeks after this incident I felt a deep sense of shame and anger with myself. 

I could NOT accept the fact I got fooled. I thought my intellect was stronger than any scammer and I never believed I’d get bamboozled. 

I was in denial despite the fact I knew I lost $60.

In the days following, I would try to convince myself it was just a regular card game. Of course when I played the scenario over and over in my head, I knew deep down I got played. 

Since that day, I became extremely skeptical of my environment. About six years later I’d begin my career as an investigative reporter. 

Over my career, I’ve had people try to dupe me, bullshit me out of a story and lie. These people often come smiling and seem innocent. 

Some of the best liars can make you feel sorry for them. They can make you believe they are victims. They can make you feel the whole system is against them and you are their savior if you just believe their lie and join their side.

The feelings of denial and anger I felt when I was 22 remind me of the people I saw breach our nation’s Capitol building. 

For many many weeks they were told the election was rigged. They were invited to the table by outspoken leaders who convinced them numerous courts, judges, journalists, election officials (many Republican) and other politicians conspired together to change the outcome of the most watched election in American history. 

The insurrectionists became part of a community of like-minded people who believed THEY KNEW the real truth. 

In the end, the card they were sold was switched.

The election wasn’t rigged, but the narrative about it was.

I don’t know how to convince people they’ve been duped. They’re locked in, forever in matrimony with the big lie. And maybe that awful marriage with the big lie makes them feel comfort.

It’s easier to keep believing a lie, because when you admit the truth, you sometimes have to admit a personal weakness of intellect. 

Nobody wants to admit they got duped. 

What we desperately want to be true is often more easily accepted by us. It’s human nature. It’s comforting to keep lying to ourselves, especially when a mob of people tell us we are part of the truth.

The real truth is often a wild card nobody can manipulate or hide. It always comes into play sooner or later.

On getting scolded and lectured for celebrating my Hispanic heritage

A few years ago I put together a National Hispanic Heritage Month story for 9NEWS that featured my grandmother. 

It focused on how Nuevomexcianos are a wonderful mix of Native and Spanish cultures and how we, as a people, have lived in this region under different governments for generations. Our bloodlines extend back to Native and Spanish peoples and I made that abundantly clear in the piece:

Here’s a quote from a historian from the video: 

We all have Native American roots. How could we not, after 400 years? So much of what we eat, the music, all aspects of culture are kind of a kaleidoscope of different cultures mixed together.

Today the video has more than a million views and overwhelmingly has positive responses, especially from people who have a hard time explaining their complex heritage. 

Thanks to the Facebook memory feature, this video gets shared exponentially again this time of year. 

The White Savior Comments

Yet, there’s a somewhat annoying and sometimes aggravating phenomenon that occurs every time this video is shared. 

I’ll receive angry inbox messages and comments from people who are upset that I didn’t refer to the Spanish as “invaders” or “conquerors” in my celebratory piece about—and let me scream this out here via my keyboard–HISPANIC HERITAGE. 

Here are just a few examples I’ve received over the last three years: 

These people are mostly anglo and don’t live in New Mexico. Of course the term virtue signaling comes to mind too. 

The first year my video went viral, I had to address one of the above blatantly false comments (Amanda Flory) since it generated more angry comments.

To these people, I ask: 

Why aren’t you angry when we DON’T reference Nazism when we talk about Oktoberfest celebrations on the news?

When I posted about Independence Day this past year, why didn’t you get mad at me for not referencing the Founding Fathers as being slave owners when I posted a photo of my American flag? 

When I posted photos about Thanksgiving Dinner, why didn’t you get angry when I failed to go on a tangent over my dinner plate and declare the pilgrims as “invaders” or “conquerors?” 

I engaged with some of these people over private messages and in comment threads. They’re all entrenched in their behavior and said I should be accurate when I reference the Spanish. 

Perhaps in their minds National Hispanic Heritage Month should be replaced with….. Spanish Conquistador Cruelty Acknowledgement Month?

What do these people have against Hispanics in New Mexico? 

There’s no doubt the Spanish who came to New Mexico were cruel to natives. This is widely known. Do we really have to reference this to appease the woker-than-thou crowd when we celebrate our Hispanic culture?

My bloodline has people who were conquered and who were conquerors.

I’m fully aware of history and have explored the likely Genízaro roots of my mother’s maternal side.

All of us, no matter your ethnicity or background, have ancestors who were assholes. 

Let’s honor our ancestors who were the good people who just wanted to farm, raise families, and live in peace. 

Don’t be a virtuous asshole.

Afterall, maybe your descendants may see your Facebook comments some day.

On Po’pay – the necessary revolt against the Spanish in 1680

157 years before the invention of the telegraph, a Pueblo man known as Po’pay managed to unite distant Pueblo villages and spark a revolt against the Spanish in New Mexico on a single day in August of 1680.

Po’pay is one of the most intriguing figures from New Mexico history and is credited for preserving many aspects of Pueblo cultures and religions today. If the revolt never happened, the Spanish would likely have been successful in eradicating all sacred elements of Pueblo belief systems, including Pueblo languages.

The story, as historians believe, tells us Po’pay used knotted cords, each with five knots. He then sent runners to distant Pueblos with instructions to untie one knot per day. On the final day, the Pueblos united and revolted against the Spanish, kicking them out of present day New Mexico.

The revolt was a righteous uprising after years of enslavement, oppression, abuse of native peoples by the Spanish who arrogantly believed they were the superior race with God on their side. During those violent days in August of 1680, churches were burned and Catholic images and statutes were desecrated.

The Spaniards fled to modern day El Paso and didn’t return for another 12 years. And while many people like to claim their return to New Mexico was peaceful, there were still attempted uprisings and many violent clashes between the Spaniards and Pueblo peoples.

This past week I drove back to Colorado after a visit to New Mexico and thought much on the road about life and conflict between Pueblo peoples and the Spaniards hundreds of years ago. I wonder what people back then would think of their descendants today.

Here are some links about Po’pay if you’re interested in reading more:

The Po’pay statute at the Capitol  

The Pueblo Revolt (Wikipedia) 

New Mexico Office of the State Historian on the 1680 Revolt


The officer who detained a journalist once helped me out

Making a mistake that turns very public is often a daunting experience. Online armies of people will often sum up a person’s character and eclipse an entire career with an incident that may only last seconds or minutes.

I’ve been there before in my career.

With the permanency of the internet, I still receive hateful messages and notes from members of the public who come across things I’ve done that I wish I could go back and change. This is the harsh territory of working within a public arena and I accept it.

I’d imagine Denver Police Officer James Brooks is experiencing these feelings of frustration as the very public detainment of Colorado Independent journalist Susan Greene plays out on YouTube.

Let me be clear — I wholeheartedly disagree with the detainment of Greene and do believe Officer Brooks and his fellow officer made a serious mistake. The “act like a lady” statements are aggravating to hear.

I’ve had my own run in with law enforcement officers who tried to keep me from a public area and I understand how aggravating it can be to be told you can’t shoot video when the law clearly permits the exercise of the First Amendment. 

When I first heard Officer James Brooks was connected to the detainment of Greene, I racked my brain on why I heard his name before.

It turns out Brooks helped me out a few years ago when someone gained access to my car in my apartment complex garage and stole some items.

I came across a three-year-old Facebook post in which I praised Officer Brooks. I also sent a letter (see below) to the Denver Police Department back then, which I believe, was put in his file. 

I feel compelled to share this because I know there’s more to a person’s character and career beyond a public mistake. Hopefully this incident can be used for training. 

Commander Antonio Lopez:

I’d like to commend Officer James Brooks who did a wonderful job of recovering sentimental items that were stolen from my vehicle this past weekend and apprehending the suspect.

Sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning the suspect gained access to my vehicle in my parking garage, stole my press credentials, a watch that belonged to my late grandfather, cuff links given to me by my mother and vehicle paperwork.

Officer Brooks immediately took my case and seemed genuinely concerned about my loss.

Officer Brooks contacted a witness in the case who provided credible suspect information.

Somehow Officer Brooks was able to acquire a photograph of the suspect and shared that photo among downtown security officers and other groups like the Denver Business Improvement District.

Amazingly, within 8 hours of filing my report, Officer Brooks returned my items back to me along with news he arrested the suspect who was in possession of burglary tools.

Without the fine and immediate efforts of Officer Brooks, I would have never received my items back and this suspect would likely be out on the streets committing more property crime.

I understand the suspect has a criminal history and is currently on parole.

As someone who often covers crime and courts, I am well aware such burglary cases have an extremely low chance of an arrest.
I can’t express my gratitude enough for Officer Brooks.

He is truly reflective of what an officer should be and makes your department shine.

You’ve got a great officer on your team and I’m happy to spread the word about the good work he does for your department and this community.

Thank you!

Jeremy Jojola

We are the enemies….

…. of corrupt officials.

…. of fake news.

…. of bad journalism.

…. of public records deniers.

…. of bad cops.

…. of bad judges.

…. of shady government contracts.

…. of those who exploit the poor for profit.

…. of scam artists who target your grandma.

…. of unjust and outdated laws.

…. of bad businesses.

…. of bogus charities.

…. of those who are inhumane to animals.

…. of the potholes on your street.

…. of broken city services.

…. of lead tainted water.

…. of dangerous buildings.

…. of crumbling bridges and roads.

…. of lazy officials.

…..of no care for veterans.

…..of debilitating health care costs.

…..of no help for people with mental illness.

…..of broken promises.

…. of racists.

…. of bigots.

…. of ignorance.

…. of lies.

…. of the people?!


We are family members.

We are friends.

We are stressed out moms and dads.

We are stuck in traffic with you.

We pray next to you.

We cry in movies.

We laugh at ourselves.

We are patriotic.

We love our country.



The MAGA hat panhandler

I had to stop and learn about this man.

And yes, it was the Make America Great Again hat that caught my eye.

You don’t see many people in blue-dominated Denver wearing them and to see a man panhandling while wearing the iconic hat piqued my interest since I love little anecdotes, moments of irony and unusual stories.

Casey panhandles with a Make America Great Again hat at the corner of Logan and Speer in Denver. He says he gets “awkward” looks from drivers.

For about 10 minutes I spoke with this man just outside my news station as he panhandled with his dog, Jameson. He had a sign that said, “Sharing is Caring Anything Helps Thank You.”

He says his name is Casey and claims to have worn the hat since President Trump’s first day in office. Early in our conversation, he pointed out he is black and part Native American and has been sleeping on Denver’s streets for the past week.

He’s originally from Oregon, but recently arrived in Denver from the Grand Junction area.

Casey comes across as a jovial man, quick with a handshake who is eager to explain why he wears the hat, which is a bit hard to follow.


Based on our friendly chat, I still can’t tell if it was a dare from a friend, an expression of art, or if it’s just to grab attention from drivers who may have extra cash.

Casey calls himself an artist and a “photographer” who is traveling the country to do “good deeds” while wearing the Make America Great Again hat.  Later, after we spoke, I learned he called my station earlier asking for a news profile on his effort to spread his “good deeds.”

I asked Casey if I could direct him to any resources in town for homeless help. He didn’t seem interested, saying the homeless shelters “are too dirty” and that he makes plenty of money panhandling to cover his hunger.

His dog Jameson seemed active and healthy when I reached down to introduce myself to the little guy. Jameson had a little bowl of water next to Casey’s cart as he cooled off in a bit of shade.

I asked Casey several times if he was a Trump supporter. Each time, he would laugh, step back and repeat “I’m just an American.”

Our friendly conversation ended, and I left Casey wondering about where he and Jameson would sleep tonight as thousands of other people in Denver make the pavement their beds.