I first showed you Tommie in 2006.
I loved this man and was went searching for him every time he “dissapeared”. The last time he went missing was in 2007. I was told, on Saturday, that hehas been found. Dead.
I don’t know any details about how he dies, but I can tell you about the man who lived. He was friendly and sweet and funny and as good a friend as you could have on the row.
I had seen him over looked and written off, but he never wrote himself off. He worked at night guarding the apartment building where he lived, and though he could barely read or write: he wrote hourly logs which he turned in with pride.
If you needed to ride the bus somewhere, Tommie would come with you and show ytou where to get off.
If you wanted to get a bite to eat: Tommie would come with , and not ask you to buy his food too – although I often did.
He had been homeless, lived in parks and on the beaches and he knew every free food kitchen and shelter in town.
Tommie could be bought off with a trip to get his toenails done or an action movie. I often found myself scrunched between him and Carl and looked down to see his big hand in my popcorn and an impish grin on his face.
Tommie was not perfect, he had a seriousl drug problem, mental health issues and he and his wife fought so loudly once that I stopped the van in the middle of the street to kick him out.
But he lived and loved, and was lovable. And now he is gone, but not without notice.