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Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together

Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together

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Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together

оценки:
4/5 (221 оценки)
Длина:
357 pages
6 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Mar 11, 2008
ISBN:
9781418525651
Формат:
Книге

Описание

From Scribd: About the Book

Ron Hall is a highly successful art dealer who has it all, a mansion, fancy car, and designer clothes. He says he’s Christian, but his focus is dead set on his materialistic possessions.

His wife Deborah, on the other hand, is deeply grounded in her faith and charity work and wants her husband to be involved.

While on a trip to Union Gospel Mission in Texas, they meet Denver Moore, a man who was battered by the racism of the south and had long found himself in and out of homelessness.

Through the good heart and insistence of his wife, Ron and Denver form an unlikely friendship. Ron soon shows his new friend the best things cash can buy.

However, even though he is unable to read or write, Denver teaches Ron far more valuable lessons in humility, kindness, and faith.

In this true story of hardships, heartbreak, and friendship, Ron Hall and Denver Moore speak from both their perspectives on the impact of Deborah’s kindness and the power of faith and love.

Издатель:
Издано:
Mar 11, 2008
ISBN:
9781418525651
Формат:
Книге

Об авторе

Ron Hall has dedicated much of the last ten years of his life to speaking on behalf of, and raising money for, the homeless. Formerly an international art dealer, Ron is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and writer/producer of the Paramount/Pure Flix film Same Kind of Different as Me. A Texas Christian University graduate, Ron was honored in 2017 with the Distinguished Alumni Award. In addition to traveling and speaking, Ron and his wife, Beth, run the Same Kind of Different as Me foundation (SKODAM.org), which meets emergency needs for those who are less fortunate.


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Same Kind of Different As Me - Ron Hall

Praise for Same Kind of Different as Me

This book is more than a memoir—it captures the presence of the only spirit that can transform the problems facing our society. When one person sets aside their own needs and misconceptions then steps purposefully and prayerfully into the life of another, miracles happen. Both lives are improved and the world gets a glimpse of real live grace. I am grateful to Ron and Denver for sharing their story and pray it will continue inspiring people to invest themselves in the simple, personal solutions that can change our world.

—The Honorable Rick Perry

Governor of Texas

Prepare to be inspired and changed as you read this tapestry of two men’s lives stitched together by the power of God’s love. Ron Hall and Denver Moore invite you to walk with them on their journey of growth, pain and joy. One man’s story of worldly success, the other of complete poverty, brought together through the vision and perseverance of a Godly woman. Their story is a message for us all to reach out beyond ourselves and make a positive difference in the lives of others.

—Karol Ladd

Author of The Power of a Positive Woman

In his letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul wrote, And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Same Kind of Different as Me is the story of the faith, hope and love of one woman, Deborah Hall. Her faith in God, her hope for a better world, and her undying love forever changed the lives of two men: her husband Ron, a wealthy international art dealer, and Denver Moore, a homeless man for whom living on the streets was a step up in life.

Telling the story in their own words, Ron Hall and Denver Moore regularly alternate between warming and wrenching your heartstrings. The unique two-author style and the open and candid way in which these men write add up to an engaging, emotional and life-changing experience.

Same Kind of Different as Me opened my eyes in a new way to a problem that remains largely out-of-sight, out-of-mind all across our nation. As Mayor of Fort Worth, Texas, where much of this story takes place, my resolve to address homelessness strengthened dramatically as a result of this book. Ron Hall and Denver Moore deserve tremendous credit for raising awareness in such a compelling way.

An important read for anyone with a heart for his or her fellow man, Same Kind of Different as Me is truly a work for the ages.

—Mike Moncrief

Mayor, City of Fort Worth

Same Kind of Different as Me is a compelling story of tragedy, triumph, perseverance, dedication, faith, and the resilience of the human spirit. Deborah Hall’s story is one of fierce dedication to helping others through the teachings of the Lord. Her passing left an enormous void in the lives of all who knew and loved her. Through her ministry to the homeless, her spirit touched the hearts of thousands of people. During this time period in her life, Deborah brought together the souls of two men from opposite ends of society. Their spirits have now touched a multitude of people all over the world. As these two men prayed, both together and separately during Deborah’s last few months on earth, they formed an unimaginable bond. They tell their stories of dealing with the devastation of Deborah’s illness and ultimate passing. These two remarkable men have dedicated the proceeds of this book to carry on Deborah’s vision of helping the Lord’s most unfortunate children. This is a must read. You can’t put it down. Ron and Denver, you truly are my heroes.

—Red Steagall

Texas Poet Laureate

The most inspirational and emotionally gripping story of faith, fortitude, and friendship I have ever read. A powerful example of the healing, restorative power of forgiveness and the transformational, life changing power of unconditional love. Many talk about it, a few live it. The people in this story unquestionably do. Ron, Denver, and Debbie sincerely, humbly and unabashedly share their story, warts and all, leaving any reader permanently changed. From modern day slavery, still in existence today, to infidelity, to the miraculous, supernatural interventions of GOD and his Angels, this amazingly TRUE story reminds us of the limitless power of love.

—Mark Clayman

Executive Producer for the Academy award–nominated The Pursuit of Happyness

Denver Moore and Ron Hall’s story is one that moved me to tears. The friendship that forms between these two men at a time when both were in great need is an inspiration to all of us to be more compassionate to everyone we come in contact with. This is truly a wonderful book!

—Mrs. Barbara Bush

Same Kind of Different as Me was a blessing to read. Ron and Debbie Hall took me on their journey of becoming the earthly hands and feet of Jesus. On their way, they found a true friendship in Denver Moore that only God could have brought together. Moreover, the servant-hearted, humble volunteers at the Union Gospel Mission were an exhortation for me to truly live what I believe. I laughed and I cried, and I praised God for real life, walking-around examples of what it means to love them like Jesus.

—Melodee DeVevo

Casting Crowns

same kind

of different

as me

© 2006 by Ron Hall.

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other—except for brief quotation in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.

Author is represented by the literary agency of Alive Communications, Inc., 7680 Goddard Street, Suite 200, Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by W Publishing, an imprint of Thomas Nelson.

Thomas Nelson titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail SpecialMarkets@ThomasNelson.com.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available.

ISBN:978-0-8499-0041-9

Printed in the United States of America

13 14 15 16 17 RRD 39 38 37 36 35

Contents

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acknowledgments

1

Well—a poor Lazarus poor as I

When he died he had a home on high . . .

The rich man died and lived so well

When he died he had a home in hell . . .

You better get a home in that Rock, don’t you see?

—NEGRO SPIRITUAL

Denver

Until Miss Debbie, I’d never spoke to no white woman before. Just answered a few questions, maybe—it wadn’t really speakin. And to me, even that was mighty risky since the last time I was fool enough to open my mouth to a white woman, I wound up half-dead and nearly blind.

I was maybe fifteen, sixteen years old, walkin down the red dirt road that passed by the front of the cotton plantation where I lived in Red River Parish, Louisiana. The plantation was big and flat, like a whole lotta farms put together with a bayou snakin all through it. Cypress trees squatted like spiders in the water, which was the color of pale green apples. There was a lotta different fields on that spread, maybe a hundred, two hundred acres each, lined off with hardwood trees, mostly pecans.

Wadn’t too many trees right by the road, though, so when I was walkin that day on my way back from my auntie’s house—she was my grandma’s sister on my daddy’s side—I was right out in the open. Purty soon, I seen this white lady standin by her car, a blue Ford, ’bout a 1950, ’51 model, somethin like that. She was standin there in her hat and her skirt, like maybe she’d been to town. Looked to me like she was tryin to figure out how to fix a flat tire. So I stopped.

You need some help, ma’am?

Yes, thank you, she said, lookin purty grateful to tell you the truth. I really do.

I asked her did she have a jack, she said she did, and that was all we said.

Well, ’bout the time I got the tire fixed, here come three white boys ridin outta the woods on bay horses. They’d been huntin, I think, and they come trottin up and didn’t see me ’cause they was in the road and I was ducked down fixin the tire on the other side of the car. Red dust from the horses’ tracks floated up over me. First, I got still, thinkin I’d wait for em to go on by. Then I decided I didn’t want em to think I was hidin, so I started to stand up. Right then, one of em asked the white lady did she need any help.

I reckon not! a redheaded fella with big teeth said when he spotted me. "She’s got a nigger helpin her!"

Another one, dark-haired and kinda weasel-lookin, put one hand on his saddle horn and pushed back his hat with the other. Boy, what you doin’ botherin this nice lady?

He wadn’t nothin but a boy hisself, maybe eighteen, nineteen years old. I didn’t say nothin, just looked at him.

What you lookin’ at, boy? he said and spat in the dirt.

The other two just laughed. The white lady didn’t say nothin, just looked down at her shoes. ’Cept for the horses chufflin, things got quiet. Like the yella spell before a cyclone. Then the boy closest to me slung a grass rope around my neck, like he was ropin a calf. He jerked it tight, cuttin my breath. The noose poked into my neck like burrs, and fear crawled up through my legs into my belly.

I caught a look at all three of them boys, and I remember thinkin none of em was much older’n me. But their eyes was flat and mean.

We gon’ teach you a lesson about botherin white ladies, said the one holdin the rope. That was the last thing them boys said to me.

I don’t like to talk much ’bout what happened next, ‘cause I ain’t lookin for no pity party. That’s just how things was in Louisiana in those days. Mississippi, too, I reckon, since a coupla years later, folks started tellin the story about a young colored fella named Emmett Till who got beat till you couldn’t tell who he was no more. He’d whistled at a white woman, and some other good ole boys—seemed like them woods was full of em—didn’t like that one iota. They beat that boy till one a’ his eyeballs fell out, then tied a cotton-gin fan around his neck and throwed him off a bridge into the Tallahatchie River. Folks says if you was to walk across that bridge today, you could still hear that drowned young man cryin out from the water.

There was lots of Emmett Tills, only most of em didn’t make the news. Folks says the bayou in Red River Parish is full to its pea-green brim with the splintery bones of colored folks that white men done fed to the gators for covetin their women, or maybe just lookin cross-eyed. Wadn’t like it happened ever day. But the chance of it, the threat of it, hung over the cotton fields like a ghost.

I worked them fields for nearly thirty years, like a slave, even though slavery had supposably ended when my grandma was just a girl. I had a shack I didn’t own, two pairs a’ overalls I got on credit, a hog, and a outhouse. I worked them fields, plantin and plowin and pickin and givin all the cotton to the Man that owned the land, all without no paycheck. I didn’t even know what a paycheck was.

It might be hard for you to imagine, but I worked like that while the seasons rolled by from the time I was a little bitty boy, all the way past the time that president named Kennedy got shot dead in Dallas.

All them years, there was a freight train that used to roll through Red River Parish on some tracks right out there by Highway 1. Ever day, I’d hear it whistle and moan, and I used to imagine it callin out about the places it could take me . . . like New York City or Detroit, where I heard a colored man could get paid, or California, where I heard nearly everbody that breathed was stackin up paper money like flapjacks. One day, I just got tired a’ bein poor. So I walked out to Highway 1, waited for that train to slow down some, and jumped on it. I didn’t get off till the doors opened up again, which happened to be in Fort Worth, Texas. Now when a black man who can’t read, can’t write, can’t figger, and don’t know how to work nothin but cotton comes to the big city, he don’t have too many of what white folks call career opportunities. That’s how come I wound up sleepin on the streets.

I ain’t gon’ sugarcoat it: The streets’ll turn a man nasty. And I had been nasty, homeless, in scrapes with the law, in Angola prison, and homeless again for a lotta years by the time I met Miss Debbie. I want to tell you this about her: She was the skinniest, nosiest, pushiest woman I had ever met, black or white.

She was so pushy, I couldn’t keep her from finding out my name was Denver. She investigated till she found it out on her own. For a long time, I tried to stay completely outta her way. But after a while, Miss Debbie got me to talkin ’bout things I don’t like to talk about and tellin things I ain’t never told nobody—even about them three boys with the rope. Some of them’s the things I’m fixin to tell you.

2

Ron

Life produces some inglorious moments that live forever in your mind. One from 1952 remains seared on my brain like the brand on a longhorn steer. In those days, all schoolchildren had to bring urine samples to school, which public health workers would then screen for dread diseases. As a second grader at Riverside Elementary in Fort Worth, Texas, I carefully carried my pee to school in a Dixie cup like all the other good boys and girls. But instead of taking it to the school nurse, I mistakenly took it directly to Miss Poe, the meanest and ugliest teacher I ever had.

My error sent her into a hissy fit so well-developed you’d have thought I’d poured my sample directly into the coffee cup on her desk. To punish me, she frog-marched me and the whole second-grade class out to the playground like a drill sergeant, and clapped us to attention.

Class, I have an announcement, she rasped, her smoke-infected voice screeching like bad brakes on an 18-wheeler. Ronnie Hall will not be participating in recess today. Because he was stupid enough to bring his Dixie cup to the classroom instead of the nurse’s office, he will spend the next thirty minutes with his nose in a circle.

Miss Poe then produced a fresh stick of chalk and scrawled on the red-brick schoolhouse wall a circle approximately three inches above the spot where my nose would touch if I stood on flat feet. Humiliated, I slunk forward, hiked up on tiptoes, and stuck my nose on the wall. After five minutes, my eyes crossed and I had to close them, remembering that my mama had warned me never to look cross-eyed or they could get locked up that way. After fifteen minutes, my toes and calves cramped fiercely, and after twenty minutes, my tears washed the bottom half of Miss Poe’s circle right off the wall.

With the strain of loathing peculiar to a child shamed, I hated Miss Poe for that. And as I grew older, I wished I could send her a message that I wasn’t stupid. I hadn’t thought of her in years, though, until a gorgeous day in June 1978 when I cruised down North Main Street in Fort Worth in my Mercedes convertible, and security waved me through the gate onto the private tarmac at Meacham Airfield like a rock star.

It would have been perfect if I could have had Miss Poe, a couple of old girlfriends—Lana and Rita Gail, maybe—and, what the heck, my whole 1963 Haltom High graduating class, lined up parade-style so they could all see how I’d risen above my lower-middle-class upbringing. Looking back, I’m surprised I made it to the airfield that day, since I’d spent the whole ten-mile trip from home admiring myself in the rearview mirror.

I guided the car to the spot where a pilot stood waiting before a private Falcon jet. Dressed in black slacks, a starched white shirt, and spit-shined cowboy boots, he raised his hand in greeting, squinting against the Texas heat already boiling up from the tarmac.

Good morning, Mr. Hall, he called over the turbines’ hum. Need some help with those paintings?

Carefully, and one at time, we moved three Georgia O’Keeffe paintings from the Mercedes to the Falcon. Together, the paintings were valued at just shy of $1 million. Two years earlier, I had sold the same collection—two of O’Keeffe’s iconic flower paintings and one of a skull—to a wildly wealthy south Texas woman for half a million dollars. When she tore a personal check for the full amount from her Hermès leather checkbook, I asked her jokingly if she was sure her check was good.

I hope so, hon, she said, smiling through her syrupy-sweet Texas drawl. I own the bank.

Now, that client was divesting herself of both a gold-digging husband and the O’Keeffes. The new buyer, an elegant, fiftyish woman who owned one of the finest apartments on Madison Avenue and probably wore pearls while bathing, was also divorcing. She was hosting a luncheon for me and a couple of her artsy, socialite friends that afternoon to celebrate her new acquisitions. No doubt an adherent to the philosophy that living well is the best revenge, she had used part of her king’s-ransom divorce settlement to purchase the O’Keeffes at nearly double their former value. She was far too rich to negotiate the $1 million price tag. That suited me just fine, since it made my commission on the deal an even $100,000.

My client had sent the Falcon down from New York to retrieve me. Inside, I stretched out in a buttercream leather seat and perused the day’s headlines. The pilot arrowed down the runway, took off to the south, then banked gently north. On the climb-out, I gazed down at Fort Worth, a city about to be transformed by local billionaires. It was much more than a face-lift: Giant holes in the ground announced the imminent construction of great gleaming towers of glass and steel. Galleries, cafés, museums, and upscale hotels would soon rise to join banks and legal offices, turning downtown Fort Worth from a sleepy cow-town into an urban epicenter with a pulse.

So ambitious was the project that it was systematically displacing the city’s homeless population, which was actually a stated goal, a way to make our city a nicer place to live. Looking down from three thousand feet, I was secretly glad they were pushing the bums to the other side of the tracks, as I despised being panhandled every day on my way to work out at the Fort Worth Club.

My wife, Debbie, didn’t know I felt quite that strongly about it. I played my nouveau elitism pretty close to the vest. After all, it had been only nine years since I’d been making $450 a month selling Campbell’s soup for a living, and only seven since I’d bought and sold my first painting, secretly using—stealing?—Debbie’s fifty shares of Ford Motor Company stock, a gift from her parents when she graduated from Texas Christian University.

Ancient history as far as I was concerned. I had shot like a rocket from canned soup to investment banking to the apex of the art world. The plain truth was, God had blessed me with two good eyes: one for art and the other for a bargain. But you couldn’t have told me that at the time. To my way of thinking, I’d bootstrapped my way from lower-middle-class country boy into the rarified atmosphere that oxygenates the lifestyles of the Forbes 400.

Debbie had threatened to divorce me for using the Ford stock—The only thing I owned outright, myself! she fumed—but I nudged her toward a cautious forgiveness with shameless bribes: a gold Piaget watch and a mink jacket from Koslow’s.

At first, I dabbled in art sales while keeping my investment-banking day job. But in 1975, I cleared $10,000 on a Charles Russell painting I sold to a man in Beverly Hills who wore gold-tipped white-python cowboy boots and a diamond-studded belt buckle the size of a dinner plate. After that, I quit banking and ventured out to walk the art-world tightwire without a net.

It paid off. In 1977, I sold my first Renoir, then spent a month in Europe, spreading my name and news of my keen eye among the Old World art elite. It didn’t take long for the zeros to begin piling up in the bank accounts of Ron and Debbie Hall. We didn’t enjoy the same income level as my clients, whose average net worth notched in somewhere between $50 and $200 million. But they invited us into their stratosphere: yachting in the Caribbean, wing shooting in the Yucatán, hobnobbing at island resorts and old-money mansions.

I lapped it up, adopting as standard uniforms a closetful of Armani suits. Debbie was less enamored with the baubles of wealth. In 1981 I called her from the showroom floor of a Scottsdale, Arizona, Rolls-Royce dealer who had taken a shine to an important western painting I owned.

You’re not going to believe what I just traded for! I said the instant she picked up the phone at our home in Fort Worth. I was sitting in the what, a $160,000 fire-engine-red Corniche convertible with white leather interior piped in red to match. I

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  • (4/5)
    One of the most inspiring books I've read in a long time. A true story of a privileged art dealer and a homeless man who escaped a life of modern day slavery and how they become acquainted and are forever changed in the process. Am hoping to read the sequel soon.
  • (4/5)
    True story about a self-absorbed art dealer whose spiritual wife encourages him to volunteer at a homeless shelter. She has had a dream and is sure that something significant is supposed to happen there. The art dealer (Ron Moore) and his wife meet a reclusive homeless man named Denver at the shelter--though it takes them quite a while to even learn his name. Ron -at the insistence of his wife -tries to befriend Denver. Eventually Denver starts to let him into his world and his story - which is truly amazing comes out. He grew up as a sharecropper in the south and was basically treated as a slave. Some of the horrible things he went through are hard to read, but they are also some of the most interesting parts of the book. Ron's story, on the other hand, was harder to get into as he was so self-absorbed before he got involved with Denver. It was intriguing to see the way that their relationship changed each of them, and how they rallied around the wife - Deborah - during her illness and death. A powerful story, some parts of it may seem preachy to some and the writing a bit uneven but it did generate a good discussion with the group that I read it with.
  • (3/5)
    I like usually like true stories, but this one got a little preachy. I am sure Deborah was a good person, but her "perfection" and "goodness" and unending charity got a little nauseating.
  • (1/5)
    A Same Kind of Different As Me was slow to start . . . so slow I put it down after 65pages and have moved on.The writing is well, but the writer switches between two characters, but neither was anyone I cared anything about.I'm sorry that I couldn't read on, but it bored me and I put the book down.
  • (5/5)
    An incredibly heartwarming and inspirational read
  • (5/5)
    When an upper class couple decide to volunteer at a soup kitchen, they never expect that a homeless man will impact their lives more than they impact his. Told in narratives by all three, a beautiful story is written about the love and trust built between strangers.
  • (5/5)
    It has been a while since I have read this book. However, I read my son's review and found his perspective interesting - and knowing him as I do I understand where he is coming from. My self however, have a different perspective. I am a Counselor AT a Rescue Mission here in the Midwest. While I personally cannot fully identify with Denver's predicament, or even Ron's for that matter I can understand the hopeless of Denver and the disillusionment of Ron. I must say that I cringe when I read other reviewers passing judgement on Ron - saying he is being "Self Righteous" etc., Ron had come to the place in his life where he realized that he was in fact, NOT "Righteous" at all! This book is about the redemption of two men, with very different backgrounds. Ron and Denver did have one thing in common... A desperate need for real, genuine PEACE in their hearts.
  • (4/5)
    The true story of a homeless illiterate Louisiana sharecropper and a wealthy Texas art dealer who become unlikely friends when the art dealer's devoutly Christian wife starts volunteering at a Ft Worth rescue mission. The he said-he said format was the perfect choice for conveying this odd couple's compelling story. I usually don't favor proselytizing via paperback, but this book works.
  • (4/5)
    Two things struck me about this book most strongly. First, despite the vernacular parts of it were written in, it was incredibly readable and I really enjoyed entering slightly more into the story through the non-proper English. Second, I found it a powerful testament to what sorts of transformations happen when the gospel infects people and gives them a real burden and real love that is invested for a long time into others. For that alone it is worth reading and contemplating.
  • (1/5)
    A professor is assigning this to her class and I need to know it well enough to help the students with it. So I read it. Very early on, I realized something very important-I am not the target audience for this book. I despise books written in any deep-accent (one of the reasons I dislike Twain, and his characters only spoke that way). I also think our students are poor enough writers. They don't need this as an influence. I also can't stand any book that paints Texans with the same broad brush. But most of all, even if it was a true story, I don't care for books in which a person's reason for doing something is a hallucination or dream. I also dislike it when one's bad life is solely attributed to race-the line of "sharecroppers" ended in my family two generations ago, so I've heard a number of these stories from very white grandparents.That being said, as a librarian, I would recommend this book to people who do like inspirational stories, especially from a Christian perspective and people interested in racial tensions in the South. I'm sure many people read this as a redemptive and inspirational book about the way faith and persistence can change lives, one at a time. For me, the only way the novel could have been more painful was if it gave me paper cuts on every page.
  • (5/5)
    The true story of a homeless man and how God's love prevailed. It is a story of a woman's faith, love, and hope and how she, Deborah Hall changed the lives of her own family and others.
  • (5/5)
    This is truly an amazing memoir of two men from the "opposite sides of the tracks." It is inspiring and will challenge your preconceptions about the homeless or "least of these." Everyone, no matter what your faith group or religious affiliation, should read this book.
  • (3/5)
    Same Kind of Different As Me is the story of Ron Hall, a wealthy white art dealer and Denver Moore, a homeless black man that Ron and his wife Deborah befriend.I read this book because it was a selection for my stay-at-home mom’s book club. It’s definitely not a book I would have picked up on my own, as it has a heavy focus on Evangelical Christian religious doctrine and that’s not really my thing. I even felt kind of duped by this book because the blurb on the book jacket doesn’t mention anything about God or religion; I felt like they were trying to draw in unsuspecting readers who wouldn’t normally read the book. From some of the reviews I read on Goodreads, I’m not alone in feeling this way.Ron starts out as a snobby, racist and classist jerk of a guy who is convinced to work at a homeless shelter by his selfless and giving wife Deborah. (Why does Deborah put up with this guy? Good question.) Deborah feels that God is telling her that Ron should become friends with Denver, who has a reputation of being the meanest, most stand-offish homeless man at the shelter. Ron loves and trusts his wife so he does what she asks.. At first, it’s clear that Ron thinks he is doing Denver a big favor by even talking to him and that Ron thinks he is inherently better than Denver because he is rich and white. Thankfully, as Ron gets to know Denver, he realizes that he isn’t better than him and that he been judgmental and wrong in his preconceived notions about homeless and black people. We also learn that Denver isn’t really as mean as he seems.I appreciated how honest Ron was about how he wasn’t the greatest person when he first started working at the mission. I didn’t relate to the heavy-handed religious aspect of the book and found the constant references to prayer monotonous but I did like reading about Denver’s life and the development of his relationship with Ron.
  • (3/5)
    A moving story, but it tries a little too hard and doesn't fully flesh out Ron Hall's personal transformation or really make clear the actual work that's been achieved because of his friendship with Denver Moore. How many people are being helped by the ministry and services? How expansive are their efforts? How effective? I mean, it's lovely that they've got this friendship, but what have they accomplished, really?
  • (4/5)
    Such a lovely, tear jerking story of friendship with no bounds- just shared love.
  • (5/5)
    Oh my, this brought tears to my eyes and made me think about relationships. Yet was a fast read. A great book.
  • (5/5)
    Incredible is just one way to describe this book. Other ways to describe this memoir would be emotional, heart-wrenching, hopeful, gripping, and inspiring. This was our book club pick for the month, but had been on my To-Read list ever since my Sister-in-law, Julie, told me about this book a year or so ago. My Sister-in-law works at the Mission of Hope, a place for homeless people to go and feel loved by God, to get a meal, a prayer, or just a place to rest. Their mission is to meet basic needs, change hearts, disciple people and teach the church. No one is turned away. For more on their services and needs visit Mission of Hope. The needs there are great and the love is overflowing. So, as I read this book, I thought about Julie and her work a lot. 13 years ago, I also used to run a homeless shelter for women and children. This story took me back to those days as well. No matter where you live, there are homeless people. They may be staying with families or friends or bouncing from house to house rather than living on park benches or under interstates, but they are homeless just the same. I was drawn into the story immediately. The chapters are short and flip back and forth from Ron's, (the art dealer) story to Denver's (the homeless man). The horrors of Denver's life were tough to read, but his strength and faith helped you move through each chapter, hoping for Ron and his wife Deborah to break his shell. The marriage of Ron and Deborah also imparted lessons of faith and forgiveness that couldn't be ignored.I became deeply emotional throughout the story and once I got into it, I could not put it down. Thankfully, it was a quick read. I appreciated the pictures included in the back of the book. It put faces to names and gave photos of Denver's past life. As a Christian, I wasn't shocked by the expressions of faith in the story as others might be. But, I did find that I was moved and changed by Denver and Ron's story. I recommend this to Christians as well as non-believers, book clubs, church groups/Bible studies, and anyone looking for an inspirational life-story.
  • (3/5)
    It's hard to argue with a book that has such a cheery outlook on life. "The Same Kind of Different" tells the story of two very different men - one rich, one poor - who end up becoming friends and working together to create a better world for the homeless.On the one hand, this book presents Christianity in a good light. Nowadays, that's not always an easy task. And if Christians acted half as loving and generous as the ones in this book, I think the religion would certainly be better for it. The stories in this book are compelling, and the narrators are humble which makes much of the God talk easier to bear.On the other hand, it is a very Pollyanna-ish story, and one that I personally found difficult to fully believe. I can't help but wonder if the facts bear up to the legend. As a natural-born cynic, I'm putting this book in the 'things too good to be true' category.But if you enjoy uplifting stories, and you can appreciate the fact that maybe God really does work in the lives of ordinary men and women, then you will probably enjoy this book.
  • (5/5)
    Great book. A story worth reading that is inspiring, beautiful, heartbreaking, touches your heart and opens your eyes. It is a book filled with emotion; be ready for laughs, tears and serious moments. It opens your heart and soul to what is real commitment and love. This book truly embraces the phrase “pay if forward”, and teaches us to never over look the people God brings into our life.................A wonderful book that I hope to bring to my book club.
  • (4/5)
    A quick inspiring read about two men with nothing in common, finding, they do in fact have things in common. Denver is an illiterate, black, homeless man who grew up as a modern day slave working for the man in Louisiana. Ron is a famed international art dealer with more money then he knows what to do with. When Ron's wife feels called by God to start helping others, Ron goes along for the ride. He begrudgingly starts handing out meals at a local mission. While there he encounters Denver, but Denver wants nothing to do with him. The streets have made him hard and he doesn't have time for rich people trying to make themselves feel better by helping the homeless. Slowly though, Ron's wife pushes the two of them together and they realize that they have more in common then they ever thought possible and start to genuinely appreciate each other's perspectives on life. A little hokey, but I'm probably just a jaded cynic.
  • (3/5)
    Well written account of the interactions between a wealthy Texas family and a homeless man. Many readers will, I'm sure, find this an inspiring story and will value it because of the emphasis on Christianity. Others will scorn it because, in spite of the obvious sincerity of the author, the account comes across as patronizing and, to some extent, self-serving. It reveals far more of life among the affluent than it does of life on the streets. Recommended for those who enjoy Christian "testimony."
  • (4/5)
    Ron is a successful rich white man, an art dealer in Fort Worth, Texas, and Denver is a Black homeless man, enslaved in the tenant farmer system of the South a generation ago. These two lives came together in a wondrous way to become a deep friendship based on strong faith and the love and guidance of Deborah, Ron's wife.
  • (5/5)
    very interesting and inspirational
  • (5/5)
    Great book! A must read for everyone.
  • (4/5)
    Denver was raised a black youth in abject poverty in the heart of Louisiana's sharecropping community, growing himself into a sharecropper as a young man, as he knew nothing else, before one day escaping into homelessness and what he surprisingly views as a better life than what he's previously known, because at least he is free and no longer a "modern day slave".Ron is a successful art dealer living the American dream with a beautiful wife who has a heart of gold. While Ron and his wife Debbie are volunteering at a homeless shelter, Debbie determines that Ron needs to befriend the irascible and anti-social Denver. It takes some time, but eventually a friendship is born, shortly before heartbreak befalls them all.Debbie is portrayed in the book nothing short of a saint. She is selfless, God-fearing (and God-loving), patient, compassionate and kind. Based on a dream she had (and which she views as a vision from God), she pushes Ron to befriend Denver. Once Ron begins to build a relationship with Denver, he finally broaches the idea of he and Denver becoming "friends", to which follows a lovely moment when Denver shares his concerns over how white people practice "catch and release" when they go fishing, and he doesn't wish to be "caught and released" like one of those fish. Ron commits to keep Denver if he can catch him, and over the years their friendship grows into brotherhood.As their friendship builds, Ron is repeatedly struck by the small town wisdom of this illiterate sharecropper/homeless man.This book is 235 pages and 67 short chapters, which is how I prefer it. I only get to read is bursts, and I always appreciate having a good stopping point every few to a dozen pages. It also includes a Readers Guide, an Interview with the Authors, and a few pages of pictures.My final word: This book was moving and inspiring. It goes beyond the trappings of life to the heart of the matter, and is proof that two people can move beyond societal lines to forge a lasting friendship that can weather any storm. And behind it all is a humble woman small of frame and great of spirit.
  • (3/5)
    An interesting memoir in that it covers the lives of three individuals rather than one, and is told by two of those people. Ron Hall and Denver Moore are the narrators, two men from very different walks of life who are drawn together by Deborah Hall, Ron's wife. They alternate telling the story, so each chapter is in first person, but switches from Ron's perspective to Denver's. Ron is an art dealer who managed to acquire vast sums of money through his business, while Denver is a homeless man, having run away from his slave-like existence as a sharecropper down south. Deborah drags her husband to a mission in down town Fort Worth, where they live, and the two men meet. The memoir focuses a bit on the childhood and early adult years of Ron and Denver, to set their backgrounds, but devotes much more time to the period after they meet and beyond. The narrators also spend time telling Deborah's story, as she was the instrument in bringing both men together. Her compassion led her husband into a life about God's mercy, rather than money, and her love showed Denver light after being surrounded by darkness for so long. It is a surprising story, how two men are redeemed from very different places, and a sweet story, of friendship and love. It will also make you cry. Definitely worth a read, to see a Godly way of reaching out to the homeless, and a lesson in a life that can be lived in humility and love.
  • (3/5)
    This is a true story about a homeless drifter, Denver Moore, who was a sharecropper, and a wealthy man, Ron Hall, who became an art dealer. They met through a woman named Debbie and wrote this book together. This book is well edited. The book alternates talking about each of the two main characters, and goes through the history of their lives. There is a third main character - "the unlikely woman who bound them together", and although she was discussed in passing in the first fifteen c ...more This is a true story about a homeless drifter, Denver Moore, who was a sharecropper, and a wealthy man, Ron Hall, who became an art dealer. They met through a woman named Debbie and wrote this book together. This book is well edited. The book alternates talking about each of the two main characters, and goes through the history of their lives. There is a third main character - "the unlikely woman who bound them together", and although she was discussed in passing in the first fifteen chapters, she didn't seem all that unlikely.The history is interesting enough, but it seems like there is only one suspense here, and that is, when do they meet and what they have in common? Maybe it is just my antsy mood this summer, but frankly, after fifteen chapters, I got tired of waiting, and decided that what they might have in common wasn't all that compelling. There are pictures in the back of the book, which told me the answer, and it is what I expected. This is a New York times bestseller, and supposed to be a really inspirational story, and maybe it is for some people. but I think it is one of those things that get so hyped up - a NYT bestseller and Barbara Bush even liked the book - that it can't live up to the hype, at least not for me.I got this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange of my review.
  • (3/5)
    Take one older black homeless man, toss in a middle-aged affluent art dealer and add one religious, very selfless woman, mix well and you got a recipe for this story. "The Same Kind of Different As Me" is an autobiography of sorts. It tells the heroric saga of a middle-aged Christian woman, selflessly helping the homeless find God and her battle with cancer. The story is narrated from her husband and a black homeless man's point of view. Taking the reader on a jouney the book explores many deep subjects such as death, forgiveness, faith, pain and suffering and prejudice. The book does have plenty of religious undertones and at times may be just a bit over the top for those non-christian readers. However, if you do chose to read it cover to cover it will leave you with a quite a few life lessons and a lot to really think about, "cause ever person that looks like a enemy on the outside ain't necessarily one on the inside".
  • (5/5)
    This is such an honest and touching story, "The truth about it is, whether we is rich or poor or somethin in between, this earth ain't no final restin place. So, in a way, we is all homeless -- just workin our way toward home." Denver Moore AMEN!
  • (3/5)
    Uplifting and inspiring. I think this would make a better movie.