David Yacovone

David Yacovone

There are moments and interactions that we experience that we never forget. I had one of those awhile back that I wanted to share.

I was on my way out the door of a local restaurant with my take-out order when a fellow — I’ll call John — waved me over. It was dimly lit and I had a hard time recognizing whether I knew him or not. He pulled on my jacket sleeve for me to sit down. I did so reluctantly only because I didn’t want the take-out order for my family to grow cold.

“Hey, you’re Dave Yacovone, right?” I nodded and made a weak smile, not sure what was coming next. “Can you give me a thousand bucks; I need some help. Jokingly I said I wasn’t Santa Claus and started to get up. He did not let go of my sleeve. “Wait a minute you guys are all on the take down there in Montpelier, you got the money, don’t give me that!”

After a conversation that lasted more than I wanted it to about how legislators are not “on the take” the discussion shifted a bit to what was really troubling him. He shared that his wife had left him, he was behind on child support payments and how he owed his landlord money he did not have.

There was a part of me that wanted to confront him on his money woes. After all he could spend money at the bar. I fought the urge to hit someone while he was down despite all his verbal barbs at me, and remembered not to judge. He made it clear his bourbon was his best friend.

He alluded to what was a horrific upbringing at the hands of his father. I imagined the toxic stress he endured and the vicious toll of untreated adverse childhood experiences that extracted much from him over his life and punished him plenty. John went on to say he felt like he did not belong, like he did not matter to anyone. All the warning signs were flashing red. He said he just wanted to be happy.

Then as quickly as he had called me to him he abruptly shut me off and told me if I didn’t have any money to help him, to get lost. I looped back to the bartender and told him I was worried about John. He told me he was a regular, and that he would be OK. Weeks later I was excited to help John get his unemployment checks processed and to learn he was still in the game, so to speak.

How I wish I could introduce legislation to help all the lost souls like John. To help the homeless, the addicted, the hungry, the unsettled, all those who struggle so. If only there was a law to help, it would be so easy. Life for many is not easy.

I look forward to working for you. If I can be of help feel free to call me at 730-0483 or email me at dyacovone@leg.state.vt.us.

David Yacovone, a Democrat from Morrisville, also represents Elmore, Woodbury and Worcester in the Vermont House. Email letters to news@newsandcitizen.com.

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