The Story of Grover Cleveland

by Tanis Robert Justice – Copyright © All rights reserved…

This is the true story of a man named Grover Cleveland. Not a bum, but a man. For a very short time I knew him as a friend and a teacher.

Grover Cleveland was a man who sat outside my physics 101 class when I was a freshman in college

We use to give him money, food, clothes, and sometimes beer

The rich kids would walk by him, called him names, and often times spit on him

I remember watching one take a sandwich from him. The trust fund bastard spit on it and gave it back to him

I thought to myself “What a jerk!”

Still, I really didn’t do anything

Grover Cleveland lived in a box

Often times he invited a few of us over to his “house” to chat

Grover Cleveland lived in a box

It was his house, it was his castle

Grover Cleveland lived in a box behind a church

Behind a church

Behind a church Grover Cleveland lived in a box

Still, they didn’t do anything

Peace and good will on earth, now get that dirty bastard off the church property

They had him arrested, the preacher assaulted him, and they wouldn’t even give him food

He lived in a box, behind their church

They give money to the white-haired rich guy on TV with the $2500 rhinestone jacket, but they had him arrested and wouldn’t help him eat….in god we trust

It never seemed to bother Grover Cleveland though

Nothing ever got him down

He knew he had a place in heaven, he had it planned out

He told me he was going to live next to Jesus, in a mansion

I guess that made it ok to live in a box behind the Lutheran church

He was a very interesting man

If half of what he said he did was true we would all be lucky to live in that box

I gave him my shoes once

They were too big on him but he didn’t complain

As a matter of fact I never heard him complain…about anything

He loved the shoes

Black and white canvas shoes

It’s all I could afford, but more than he had

I had an old pair that had a little bit of wear on them

Besides, I knew if I asked my mom and dad they would get me a pair…mom knew where they went

Later that winter Grover Cleveland stopped coming around

After a couple of weeks and I went looking for him

We went to his “house” and we found him

He froze to death

In an effort to get him to move away from the church property they, the church, took his blankets and clothing and threw them away

I remember joking once that it would take a fire to kill the smell

I wasn’t laughing about it anymore

Grover Cleveland was a good man

Grover Cleveland was a just man

Grover Cleveland froze to death in a box behind a church

Behind a church

In a box



I miss him even still today

It’s been ten years

He was a good teacher

Because of him I learned a lot about myself and the person I wanted to be

Grover Cleveland was a bum who froze to death in a box behind a church…he was a better man than anyone in that church

I believed in the church in those days

I believed in God in those days

Those days are gone

Grover Cleveland was a good man, who lived in a box behind the church

He doesn’t live behind the church anymore…they killed him

If you want to talk to him you’ll have to wait

He lives in a new house, next to Jesus. If Jesus is there.

I hope

I hope

I hope he’s warm now…

Teach a man to fish...

I know nothing about this church or it’s members. I am sure they are all wonderful people. This photo was shot after midnight.