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There are several people who help Bud after he escapes from the Amos' house in Christopher Paul Curtis' Bud, Not Buddy.
When Bud goes to get in the food line at the mission, he is late. A large man in charge tells Bud he is too late and seems as if he is going to hurt Bud, but a man from the crowd grabs Bud and pretends Bud is his son Clarence. The man and his wife make it possible for Bud to have a meal. Bud struggles a little in understanding what his "pretend" parents are trying to do for him: he doesn't realize that by pretending he is their son, he can get in line with them and have a meal. As they eat and the woman shares brown sugar for his oatmeal, Bud says:
"Thank you, Momma, ma'am."
She and my pretend daddy laughed and he said, "It took you long enough to catch on, Clarence."
It is from this experience that Bud learns how to get food at the mission.
Bud's friend Bugs takes Bud to "the Flint version of Hooverville," a place where the poor gather to find food, shelter and companionship. As Bud tries to understand the concept of Hooverville, a man at the campfire explains that people all over the country are in the same unfortunate state. He says:
Believe me, son, being on the road is no good.
Someone makes sure that the boys are fed and help to clean up. The man's words about being on the road foreshadow difficulty Bud will face very soon.
The librarian teaches Bud how to figure out how far Grand Rapids is from Flint, and she gives him some food.
Perhaps the most important person to help Bud get to Grand Rapids is Mr. Lefty Lewis. Lefty discovers Bud walking along side the road in the middle of the night, heading for Grand Rapids. Lefty tries to put Bud at ease when explaining that Bud—and Lefty—are in a dangerous situation:
My problem is I'm not quite as brave as you are. I'm feeling very, very uncomfortable standing on the side of the road just outside of Owosso, Michigan, at two-thirty in the morning...
Bud cleverly tells Lefty that he has run away from Grand Rapids in the hope that the man will drive him to Grand Rapids, believing he is returning Bud to his family.
Lefty gives Bud something to eat and takes him to Flint where his daughter (Mrs. Sleet) lives. After Bud sleeps, eats and gets a set of clean clothes, he and Lefty Lewis leave. Soon they depart for Grand Rapids so Bud can find the man Bud believes is his father. Lefty Lewis makes it possible for Bud to connect with Herman E. Calloway: a man Bud has never met.
All of these people show kindness and concern for Bud after he finds himself alone in the world during the Great Depression.
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