M. Rodney Dryden is a man who once had it all. Then he was sucked under by the downward spiral of the global economy. He now has no heat, no lights and no hot water -- just like olden times.
"It's cold every night. I just try to stay alive," Dryden said.
He was living off a generator before a neighbor complained. There was too much noise, and the cops told him to shut it down.
So, his sickly wife moved out and Dryden stayed to ward off the thieves. He wears mittens to bed and he gave up showers.
We asked Dryden what kind of man's power gets shut off causing him to live off a cord.
"One who has a college education, whose wife is college educated, whose two sons and daughter are college educated, and I was making a good living," he responded.
Busted flat, but it wasn't always this way.
"I was a mechanical contractor, a material supplier helping various large scale mechanical firms in Detroit supply materials and equipment to their clients," Dryden told FOX 2.
Then the bottom fell out.
"It's a nightmare. It's not the American dream," he said.
The clock struck twelve on Dryden's American dream. They came and took his Mercedes. They came and took his heat, but they couldn't get his dignity.
"This is the plight of Detroiters now in this economy. We're being treated like we're criminals," said Dryden.
FOX 2's Charlie LeDuff made a call to the best people he knows, The Heat and Warmth Fund, a charitable organization that helps people get their utilities restored.
"We'll pay off your account, and you'll be off to a fresh start," THAW Program Director Karen Bitner told Dryden.