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Thursday, May 5, 2016

A friend in need

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The front porch of Richard Tabor's family homestead is a place of memories for the 86 year-old homeless veteran. [Order this photo]
* Local veteran needs help going home

One of Brazil's oldest heroes needs help going home.

On Sept. 17, 1923, Richard Tabor was born in a little family homestead located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Park and Warren streets. He grew up with memories of the family using the nearby lot to grow a garden and raise some animals to get by during tough economic times.

"They were hard times, but they were good times," Tabor said with a contagious smile on his face. "Back then, you did what you had to, to have food on the table."

The little homestead was not too far from the wonders of the world.

"I sat on that porch one day and saw an airplane flying low on the horizon," Tabor said. "I love flying and it was so exciting. It was Charles Lindbergh on one of his flights."

A 1942 graduate of Brazil High School, Tabor was a 21-year-old army artillery serviceman when he crossed the English Channel as part of supporting efforts for D-Day and the subsequent fight in the Ardenne Forest as part of the Battle at the Bulge.

"I served under Dwight D. 'Ike' Eisenhower in the war," Tabor said of his military experience. "I made it home. I've always had God looking out for me over the years."

Arriving home in 1946, Tabor married his high school sweetheart, Melba Heffner. During their life together, Tabor worked as a head electrician at Mallory's in Greencastle, Melba became a nurse and the family expanded with two children.

After 54 years, his wife died.

"I've been so blessed in this life," he said. "I'm a happy person."

After meeting a "special woman" in church, Tabor "got lucky" and married Lilly Farris a while later. The two shared dreams of starting their own church, with Tabor studying to become an ordained minister and the couple working together to renovate the family home place.

However, after six years of marriage, Lilly became ill. Tabor spent two years at her bedside taking care of his ailing wife. With mounting medical bills, Tabor mortgaged the home to help pay for the expenses.

"It was the only thing I could do," he said. "We wanted to fix it up and come home, but she died."

But Tabor can't go home. He's been homeless for nearly two years now.

It's a tough economy, and it's hard for Tabor to ask for financial help from those who are also struggling.

"No one plans for something like this to happen," Tabor said. "It just did."

Other problems have also occurred over the years.

According to Tabor, "stuff accumulated during life and it just kind of filled the inside of the house." Mother Nature and more than 100 years of wear and tear have taken a toll on the structure of the home, and an addition on the home is falling in and needs to be removed. The simple amenity of electrical wiring throughout the home and indoor plumbing has never been fully implemented.

The house needs a lot of tender loving care for it to be livable, and for Tabor to move back inside.

Recently, the home was in jeopardy of being condemned by the City of Brazil. But, with the intervention of several friends, there is hope that Tabor won't have to sleep in his truck or randomly stay with anyone anymore.

"If we can get some help from volunteers who are willing to work here or help out with some materials, we can get Richard back into his home," Tabor's friend Charlotte Curd told The Brazil Times. "That's the goal, to get him in his home before winter arrives. He deserves this. Richard deserves to be able to go home."

Several of Tabor's friends have been clearing the inside of the home in preparation of the renovation project.

"This can be done," Curd said about work that needs to be done. "We just need the manpower and skilled people who are willing to donate their time to help this good man out in his time of need."

Volunteers are requested to bring their tools to Tabor's home, located at 821 North Warren St., Brazil, each Saturday (weather permitting), until the work is completed.

A building fund has been set up to cover project expenses at Fifth Third Bank, 637 East National Ave., Brazil.

According to bank officials, donations can be made to the "Richard Tabor Fund" at any Fifth Third Bank branch during normal banking hours at an inside teller window or at any drive-thru window.

For more information about participating in work details, donating supplies for the project or how to help Richard Tabor, contact Charlotte and Lonnie Curd at 812-986-2449.

"I'm the oldest and one of the last of the Tabors. I've had a good life," Tabor replied when asked how he felt about the situation he finds himself in during his golden years. "God watched over me, and I'm happy for it. I just want to go home. If I'm here, I'm happy. Even if it means I have to sleep in the truck outside, I'm happy to be home."

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This kind man deserves the royal treatment for what he did for our Country! Let's do it Brazil!

-- Posted by speedfreak on Thu, Jun 3, 2010, at 9:20 PM

Really sad. An 86 year old man should not be homeless.

-- Posted by guesswho? on Thu, Jun 3, 2010, at 10:24 PM

I'm sorry and just think you should know this man has NOT been homeless for 2 years. Thats all I'm going to say.

-- Posted by ashd725 on Thu, Jun 3, 2010, at 10:54 PM

Wow!! There is a comment like that in every comment section. Weather or not he was homeless or wasnt, the man has lived a life alot of us couldn't imagine. All it sounds like he wants is to be 'home'. He isn't asking for a place to live or for a hand out. He just needs the help to make what he has livable. I know that if there is anything that any of us can do to help this happen, we owe it to him. Thank you sir for fighting for our freedom and im clearing my schedule to see you Saturday :)

-- Posted by madmom01 on Thu, Jun 3, 2010, at 11:21 PM

I agree with madmom01...in every story I read there is a negative comment about the story. To be honest...the ones who leave the negative comments probably don't even know the person. There was a time I was proud of the community I lived in...now, I'm not so sure.

I hope that his home gets his home fixed to a livable condition.

-- Posted by JQuick on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 1:43 AM

I think the community should do everything they can for those who have risked their lives in the military! Great service project for some church or organization. Let's see who decides to step up to the plate!

-- Posted by Criminology08 on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 2:40 AM

I know Richard he had a place not a home,in-laws threw him out, took money. That much I know if Richard was telling it right, why would an 86 year old lie?

-- Posted by smallguysmalltown on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 2:59 AM

I'd sure like to see the city help a man in a situation like this rather than be down on Sherman St. mowing lawns for perfectly healthy people.

-- Posted by houseofhate on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 3:19 AM

First of all, let me say that I wholeheartedly appreciate the service that this gentleman has given to our country. Our men and women in the service deserve more than I can express. Now, let me say how very disgusted I am that the writer of this article did not do their homework before printing this story. We all know that sensationalism sells, but it should not sell at the expense of the truth. Shame on you Brazil Times for allowing these false "facts" to be printed. I know for a fact that this gentleman has had a home to live in, provided to him by a generous family and provided to him for MANY years, until May of this year (2010). So now I challenge the writer of this story to do the right thing and retract and correctly state this story so that the readers will know the truth. It's the least that this newspaper should do.

-- Posted by Plankton on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 9:42 AM

He would be a good candidate for habitat for humanity, they could sell it when the old soul really goes home.

He surely had family? Where are they?

God will look after Mr. Tabor. What a great story!

thanks for reporting this one.

-- Posted by Pearl2083 on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 9:50 AM

plankton I fully agree with you... People I have no problem with everybody helping him... that was not what I was getting at... As Plankton stated in there comment the writer should get the WHOLE Truth before printing a story.

FyI I do know Richard very well... Nobody stole his money! he did not know how to manage his money. He wouldn't even pay his bills. Instead of actually paying his bills he would go and buy computer crap. But mabe that is the truth that he needs to tell you. I'm not trying to be a debbie downer, but its frustrating when a man WAS HELPED and very well taken care of, and took advantage of the situation........

-- Posted by ashd725 on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 10:58 AM

oh and smallguysmalltown the in-laws did not throw him out or take any of his money... I know them very well... and the in-laws that you speak of are not in fact in-laws.... Now that Is ALL I'm going to say...

You can get as mad or angry over the truth if youd like but it is actually the truth...

God knows the truth...

-- Posted by ashd725 on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 11:03 AM

If people want to help Richard fix his home, great, but this story is not the whole truth. First of all, smallguysmalltown, do you really want to stake your claim on, old people don't lie. Really??? And shame on you for watching this homeless man being victimized and not reporting it. I hope you can hear the sarcasm in my voice. If you didn't actually see it happen don't be spreading false rumors. Also, this story mentions he has two children, where have they been these last two years he has been "homeless". I use quotes because I know this not to be true. And what a coincidence he needs help exactly one month after moving out of the home his deceased wife's family has provided for him. If it was a house not a home that was his own doing.

-- Posted by jm3611 on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 11:18 AM

FYI this situation is exactly as ashd725 has stated. The so-called in-laws asked him to clean up the home after he trashed it. They were forced to ask him to leave. Richard has not been homeless for 2 years, he has family that he could be staying with, but for unknown reasons they do not allow him to do so. Please don't judge the so-called in-laws for helping him all these years, and him taking advantage of them and thier generousity in allowing him to stay without paying rent , until he trashed the place.

-- Posted by ofcsb on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 1:09 PM

Talk about airing dirty laundry. Some people just don't know when it's in their best interest to shut up! There are definitely people on here that don't know how to respect their elders, even if the elder might be a slight bit wrong or confused.

This story is about helping an elderly vet who just wants to go home.

He never mentions a family that wouldn't help him. Some elderly people are too proud to ask for help, or ashamed they might have fallen so low.

BTW: If this man is not in a "home of his own or one he considers his own" then he is homeless.

For Christ's sake people, doesn't anyone have any compassion anymore? Has the world became such a dark, terrible place that the prerequisite to helping someone is tearing them apart first? Are we a pack of wolves that attacks anyone and anything?

If all the garbage wrote on here is true, then I think the story is a good one for a couple of reasons. It doesn't defame the family or this man for not getting along. Matter of fact, it does the opposite by showing this man is standing pat in his faith with a smile on his face.

The writer never accuses anyone of throwing this man out or doing wrong by him. Only the people who comment on this website did that, and that was done either to be negative (as usual in this town) about something or to defend their personal guilt because someone might ask them why they aren't helping this man.

This is this man's story. It's a story of heroics, love, family and faith. The climax is the plight he finds himself in now. We can help make it a happy ending, if we stop bickering and do the right thing, help this man with a generous heart.

-- Posted by Cy on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 1:49 PM

Just remember, there are always two sides to every story. This is only one side. I know for a fact that where he lived with a former spouse was nothing but a junk heap. You could barely see the trailer for the junk and tall grass.

-- Posted by Hodgepodge on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 2:32 PM

Thank you, Cy. Well said.

-- Posted by CountryandCityMouse on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 2:36 PM

well first off let me tell u the only reason comments have negitivley been pu ton here is because this elderly man is a liar!!! obviously u dont know this man!!! its not about degrading a HERO.... its about lies and the obly reason $ was brought iup was becausehis "friend" that said that his in~laws took money thats bull especialy if he TOLD HIM THAT!! IM VERY angry that u cant read!!! YES PEOPLE HO HAVE THE DESIRE SHHOULD HELP HIM BUT NOT W AS MANY LIES HE HAS TOLD...........

-- Posted by ashd725 on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 5:03 PM

I don't know Mr. Tabor personally & I don't know what kind of person he is. I DO know the poor, old guy can't drive & is a hazard to himself & others. He scares the crap out of me every time I see him out on the road!

-- Posted by th1953 on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 5:24 PM

was raised in brazil and i know richard tabor

if any one can help.please do so.

-- Posted by pankey47 on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 6:20 PM

y not get him an apartment at cooper towers

-- Posted by ape1 on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 6:26 PM

This was not Mr tabors idea to go this rout i talked with him and he needs help he did give permission to go to the paper at no time has he ever said to me one thig bad about his wifes familey. he and his wife was making plans for the home why cant this man dream that is all he has except two daughters one has talked to me and she has seen richards grass was cut she works full time and richard goes to her house but richard is proud and he has served this country what is wrong with you people i am getting phone calls peopl saying allfull thing to me because vi am helping him .well my grand son wass messed up and going back the6th time,His grand parents king was from brazil he is fighting for his country if any one would talk about my grand son like wwhate is on this page i woud see each and every one in the high court come on brazil this man has a right to help i would help ang vet if i could i never know when or if i will ever see my granson again have we lost enough of our sons. THANKs to all that have called and wanting to help.And i will pray for the ones that have called me and said bad things to me i for give you and there ia one that died on the cross for us and that is JESUSand he for gives.THANks will be given to all that help

-- Posted by arkey on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 6:41 PM

I know Mr. Tabor and there are two sides to every story. The readers have only heard part of it in this story. We all make our own decisions and Mr. Tabor is just like everyone else. There are options for Mr. Tabor regarding his living situation, but he chooses to live as he has for the last month or so since he was evicted from his previous residence. There are places such as Cooper Towers. His previous residence may not have belonged to him, but it was his home for many years. I just want to point out that this man has not been homeless at all for the last 2 years and his family has been trying to help him. This man has not been abandoned by his family. It is great if the community can contribute to the renovations of this home to make it habitable for Mr. Tabor. I assure you Mr. Tabor is not looking for a handout and that many elderly fall into the same situation as he is in. Mr. Tabor is a very nice man and I know people only mean well of him by this article. In these hard economic times, we all face such struggles.

-- Posted by ladybugg on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 7:14 PM

I just want to point out I am not putting him down for fighjting for his country and frankly it pisses me off that this is what the negitivaty is being turned to!! does he deseve help absolutly!! everybody help him.... should he lie and be decetful about everything else HELL NO..... THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO W HIM SERVING IN THE MILITARY!!! I APLAUD THAT....... SO GET OVER THAT ASPECT..... THE ONLY PROBEM IS HE WAS DISHHONEST about basicaly everything else...

-- Posted by ashd725 on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 7:32 PM

As an outsider who lives in Texas, I picked this up on the news net. I stand up and applaud all who are stepping forward to help a Veteran who risk his life on foreign soil, so some of you can in his last years have the freedom to talk ill of him. Shame on you. He never at one time in this article said one thing ill against anyone. Regardless of whether or not he has been homeless for 24 months or 4 months that is not the issue. He has served his country and wants to die in his own home. The comment about him going into an assisted living center is not what he wants and not what he has earned. Let him have his dignity in his last years. Wether he loaned the money to family and they never paid it back or stole it he never said. He is a gentleman and a Veteran. My son served 25 years in the military and was in harms way for 4 tours. I pray that if Mr. Tabor lives 1 more day or another 80+ years he may do so in peace and happiness. Wouldn't it be interesting to have those who speak ill of him let us know what they have done for their country. If he paid his bills or not he is old and needs help. How many at this age are even responsible for that sort of mundane chore. It is typically done by a loving family member. My dear sweet Mother passed at a very elderly age and was allowed to remain in her home and die there even at the sacrifice of some of her children to see that that would happen. Hang in Brazil and show the country that there are good Christian loving people in your community by helping this old man fly his flag high in his own yard before he dies. I salute you all.

A special blessing goes to Charlotte and Lonnie Curd and their family for all they are trying to do for an old man in need.


-- Posted by arkey on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 7:49 PM

wWhy is there so much negative....

This poor man needs a place to live this is sad ...yes god bless you all and try and help this man ....thanks

-- Posted by dm713 on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 9:11 PM

Good Lord, after reading these posts (actually trying to read them would be more accurate), are there more than 3 people in Brazil with more than a 3rd grade education? Typos are one thing, but a few of these posts are pathetic.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 9:50 PM

no one has a issue that this man served our country.......this man needs more than having his house fixed up (which the city should have torn down)he needs to have help getting into a nursing home so he will have someone looking after him 24 hours before he ends up hurting someone.

oh if you do work on his house let us know how that works out for ya

-- Posted by ofcsb on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 10:07 PM

This article and all these comments make me very sad. How quickly we all are to tear each other apart when we do not know the truth. This man was loved by those he would let love him. The truth is not stated and those that have upset his life and family members, both present and past members, need to stop and examine why they put their nose in his life. Christians do not list their names in the paper so everyone can praise them. Christianity is not boastful. The right hand should never even know what the left hand is doing. I know his daughters personally. I know his step daughter and her husband. They are good people with families of their own. This article and comments remind me of the metaphor that those that do not have children are the best authority because they do not know how children really are and what it takes to rear them. The metaphor can be used in this situation as those that are the best authority are those that do not know the whole situation. Stop people. know what you are commenting on before you comment. I have always felt that I could open my mouth and prove that I do not know what I am talking about (comments on this site) or keep it shut and keep people quessing. Until the daily times gives fair time to those that love him and have truly tried to help him in the past, these comments will continue to be negative statements to those of us that have tried many times to help him over the years. This whole article is a sad injustice. This article should never been published without first contacting his family to confirm the facts. These comments hurt those implicated as "ones that do not care." How can the hurt be taken back both to Richard for these negative comments on this comment section or how can your comments mend the broken hearts of the people that have truly truly stood by him over the years

-- Posted by Oldladysad on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 10:59 PM

I was going into Krogers the other evening & Mr. Tabor was coming out. The poor man can barely walk. It was more like he "teetered" out to his truck. Say he does get enough monies & help to fix his house up. Is he really going to be physically able to stay by himself? Like I mentioned before, I KNOW he can't drive! I understand him wanting to go back to his childhood home, but wonder if he can stay alone.

-- Posted by th1953 on Sat, Jun 5, 2010, at 2:37 AM

Are we sure about the location of this house? I believe there's a pretty decent modular sitting on the SW corner.

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Sat, Jun 5, 2010, at 5:53 AM

I have known Richard most of my life, And I knew his second wife Lilly and her family quite well. I grew up around both families. No one stole Richards money except maybe his ladyfriend who talked him into closing his account at the bank. As for being homeless, I know for a fact he was told he could live in Lilly's house forever as long as he took care of it and kept the bills paid. I also know her daughter and son in law had to pay all the utilities everymonth because he would blow his money on junk!. after a few years of him not paying bills and living in filth inside someone elses house he was told he had to move. This was 2 months ago not years. He had the house so trashed with garbage that they tried to help him clean it up and took 9 big garbage bags out full of filthy food cans, computer parts and food and didn't make a dent in the mess inside the house. They no sooner finished for the day and guess what, he carried all nine bags of gargabe back into the house! He lives like a pig, maybe if he had done a little house cleaning and paid a light and water bill his wifes kids who are no blood to him would have let him finish his life in the home he was in.

Like I said I have known Richard most my life, I thank him for his service to his country. But truth is you can't live like a pig in someone else's house, not pay bills and get made when made to move out. If he had been renting from anyone else and treated the house like he did Lilly's, he would have been evicted long before the "in-laws" made him move. Oh and I have been in his house in the west end of town too, it is just as bad and not worth putting any money into. I needs torn down!

-- Posted by driverdude on Sat, Jun 5, 2010, at 3:48 PM

To Brazil,

I am ashamed of you , I dont care about how he lived, he wants to live in his own home his final days, we owe him that ! I was there yesterday and did my share of work and will continue to be there evey Saturday that I can, until the job is finished.

And to anyone who has wood lying around that they are not using call us we will put it to good use !!

I just met Richard 2 days ago and sat with him for 2 1/2 hours and not once did he say anything bad about anyone !

If you dont want to help then dont but shame on you !!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by bettyboop@joink.com on Sun, Jun 6, 2010, at 9:09 AM

To Brazil residents,

I have known this man for years I was a little girl when he started coming around my house to talk with my father. I married one of his grandsons and we have been married 10 years. I know he gets lonely he probably drives people nuts. Yes he is a bad driver (he actually managed to hit my dad twice) in a way it was kinda funny how many people can say they were hit by the same person twice. I believe this has been blown way out of proportion. I know some of the story is not right, but I think he didn't write it personally I truely believe Charlotte helped him. I do not know her but I know what I have been told by people who know him and her both. He got evicted from his in-laws about 1 to 2 months ago because Charlotte told him to close his acct. and the same day ALL his money disappeared. I know the in-laws did not steal his money his daughter told me that she showed her all the recipts and the check book. I hope I am wrong but you just don't lose that kind of money I think it was taken. I personally believe he needs help managing his finances but he is stubborn. The in-laws did evict him for that reason and he is not the cleanest person in the world he loves to collect computers and other stuff. I know his daughter in brazil worked all day then went to clean it up it took her about a week to a week and a half she did have help by some friends. She has tried to get him to move into Meridan towers or something similar but he will not budge. She is at a lost with him. She cannot MAKE him do anything he doesn't want to do. I am disappointed in all the gossip and remarks made about the family and in-laws when some of the people may not know the truth. I want to appologize to the in-laws for anything that was said about them. I hope this matter can be resolved ASAP. I hope he can get help to fix his house that is what he truely wants. It would be nice to see a community come together to help him even others that need help. Thank you.

-- Posted by kmcmains1980 on Mon, Jun 7, 2010, at 10:13 AM

Sounds like he has hoarding syndrome. That is a mental illness...not a "choice."

-- Posted by abbccc on Mon, Jun 7, 2010, at 5:29 PM

If at all possible, I would like to bring a positive to this comment page. I would also like to thank all of the kind hearts of the people that innocently got involved. The weather is hot. The man has a story. Many stories, as anyone that knows him, will agree. He has a kind heart but is just a little outside of the realm of what is real and what is real with a little added to it so that it sounds a little more interesting. It is our human nature to love one another. It is Gods commandment and many of you have taken that commendment seriously. The old man is loved by many. The positive is that he will get to move to his home place. All involved will receive a jewel in their crown for their final reward. One person that has been in the background in the height of all of the negitivity is his daughter in Brazil. Her crown should be very filled as she takes care of many. She is aware of his situation. Money is not in abundance but she stretches it as far as she can. I know for a fact that hard work has never been an issue for her. She works everyday of her life. She is nearing the age of retirement. Her plate is full. Her life is full. Her house is full. There is no possible way that any more people can live in her small home. Her father is now is her child too. She chooses this life with a smile. Her health is not good either but she patches herself up and goes on to the next day. She is a grandmother of six, four of which live with her, along with her son and daughter-in-law, and all six grandchildren are her life. Last week, with this article, life for her and the old man took an added turn. Can you see that this article just added to a situation that she was just about to get under control. Others that love the old man too are aware of his situation too. Others take care of the old man on a daily basis but they all check in with the daughter. What a shock to see your father's picture in the newspaper attached to an article. None the less, in an article with less than the truth printed for everyone, as far away as Texas, to comment on and tear apart. A question from one of the comments was, where is the family? I can tell you that the family was and is aware of the old man and they will still be there to take care of the old man that escapes reality, drives around left of center, and looks for someone that might have a few minutes for a story from a lonely old veteran. Brazil, commenters, helpful hearts, you are apperciated but now you are part of a much more complex situation. Welcome to the family.

-- Posted by Oldladysad on Mon, Jun 7, 2010, at 11:11 PM

Freedom1 Are you speaking from the pulpit? Respect for the elders could quiet possibly be the reason that the old man was left alone to live the way that he wanted too. Just perhaps he got old and needed to find an end to the result of being respected by others and he could no longer keep up with his wishes. Those that helped most possibly have a relationship with their God. Are you fimiliar with feeding pearls to pigs? Christians work with their hearts.

-- Posted by Oldladysad on Wed, Jun 9, 2010, at 11:35 AM

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