March 31, 2010 Edition

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'Same Kind of
Different as Me'

If "Same Kind of Different as Me" were a novel, it might be considered a little too unbelievable. However, it is a true story about the unlikely and life-changing friendship between two men. Ron Hall is a white, international art dealer who travels the world, and Denver Moore is a black, homeless drifter. Through Ron's wife, Deborah, the two meet.

The book is written by both men, each taking turns telling his story and point of view. Denver grew up in Red River Parish, Louisiana, in the mid-20th century. His family lived in virtual slavery on a plantation where they worked, received primitive housing and bought from "the man." He had no opportunity to go to school. For Denver, living as a homeless man in Fort Worth is a step up from picking cotton on the plantation. Ron, on the other hand, has a fairly normal life, although he does have a few Forrest Gump-like experiences. He and his family's lives change as his sideline as an art dealer takes off into a very lucrative full-time career.

This book will change your attitude about homeless people. If you have doubts, it will make you believe there are divine purposes intended for each of us to fulfill. However, there is nothing preachy about the story. Like real life, this true story is not all pretty. There is betrayal, tragedy, pain and brutality in their lives.

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"Same Kind of Different as Me" was first published in 2006 and has been a New York Times Bestseller. There are plans for a movie based on the book to be released this year. A second book, "What Difference Do It Make? - Stories of Hope and Healing," was published in the fall of 2009. If you read "Same Kind of Different as Me" prepare to be changed.

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