After inspiration from a stranger, he traded in the cans and bottles for pen and paper and now a homeless poet is spreading his talent across Fresno.
Any given day, you can find Larry Rodgers hitting the streets of Fresno, making a day's living with a very special gift; his poetry.
Larry Rodgers reads excerpt from poem, " I'm thankful for the days and nights we have spent together and thankful for all of the memories i know will last forever."
call it a gift for writing, or the gift of gab. Rodgers says it's simply a gift from God.
"I'm really not all that smart. I really don't like English. I don't spell that well. God just blessed me."
A blessing that's kept the struggling 57 year old on his feet for two years. Everyday, seven days a week, with his briefcase in tow, he sells his poetry. In light of the lover's holiday this week, he's also selling Valentines Day gift baskets.
First, he makes his way to a couple of gas stations near 99 and Belmont, and then onto River Park; hoping his day's earnings will keep a roof over his head.
"I do this all day, until I at least make 40 bucks," says Rodgers.
That's just to pay his daily rent at the Palace Inn motel on Parkway Drive. Rodgers was evicted from his apartment a while back. He admits to making some bad choices in life.
Rodgers says, "I know one choice that I made. I refuse to stand somewhere and beg and panhandle, I refuse to steal and I'm not a drug dealer."
Instead, he chooses to share his natural born talent, which includes nearly 200 original poems for just about every occasion.
One gas station clerk says, "His poetry sells like hotcakes, honestly. He has people come in here and ask for him."
I've had people cry. I've had people give me very generous donations for my work," says Rodgers.
Those donations include a lap top from one man, a cell phone from another, and every items in dozens of gift baskets from a regular customer.
It's generosity that's helped the poet expand a God given gift that Rodgers intends to keep giving.
"I've done a lot of things in my life, and there's nothing I enjoy more and I hope to really give people things they can relate to and feel."
Rodgers says he is currently applying for a business license and tax ID number in hopes of growing his business and branching out into the greeting card industry.
If you're interested in purchasing some of Rodgers work, you can find him on Facebook, or contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also call him at (559) 493-9135.