A drifter’s life

John McCaslin | Rappahannock News

Numerous residents of Rappahannock County have caught sight of a certain homeless man, 68-year-old Richard Harrell, who when not walking upright has rolled himself in and around the town of Washington in a wheelchair.

Twice he stopped by the Rappahannock News to tell his story of being “unfairly” evicted from Section 8 housing in Salem, Mass. Harrell, who says he’s “unhireable” due to physical ailments, is slowly “making my way South” so that he can continue to live outdoors. “I don’t want to be under a roof,” he says, preferring to sleep “in the weeds.” A far cry from his previous life, when Harrell claims he worked as an industrial engineer, medic, and horse trainer in Nova Scotia. His next stop? “Sperryville,” he says, having actually arrived there on Tuesday. “And then Luray. Or Culpeper.”

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