One of things about living in Boston is that it's small enough that you start to recognize people. To many of those who don't live in the city, I'm sure the down-and-out, the homeless, and the somewhat deranged appear as a wave of anonymous humanity. But, like I said, you start to recognize people. I'm sure most Bostonians recognize Louie the Tricycle Guy: he might be one of the most recognized people in Boston (more than many Red Sox players).
This winter I mentioned him to a couple of friends because I hadn't seen (or heard) Louie for several months--maybe something had happened to Louie?
Fortunately, you can't keep a good, if highly unusual, man down. With that, by way of Universal Hub, comes this video about Louie the Tricycle Guy:
I was also impressed by the decency of the guys at Back Bay Bicycle--people like them make Boston a little more decent and humane.
You may have been around in recent years and knew Mr. Butch of Allston/Brighton. He passed away not long ago, and the neighborhood mourned.
My kids were in college to know Mr. Butch, and once my oldest daughter cried when Mr. Butch asked for some money and she had none. I don't know if she was upset that she had nothing for Mr. Butch or that she had nothing, period. The life of a college kid.
I always find it a bit unnerving when one of the more notable homeless people disappears for very long - leastways I did when I was still in Portland. Back here in hometown MI, it's not as easy to keep track.
One of my favorite among the deranged, disappeared for more than three weeks once. I called and found out he wasn't in jail, nor was he in a hospital - in Portland. Turned out he somehow managed to get up to Battleground WA and ended up at the jail, then the hospital. While I have my issues with some of the Portland police, I have to say that overall they're pretty fucking rockin'. When the BG police called the Portland police, they sent an officer to go pick him up and bring him home. They also totally rock, because knowing I was concerned about him, they called me to let me know.
No one seems to know how he got up there. He had an insane blood alcohol level. He was picked up wandering down a country highway after he stumbled out in front of a car.
He isn't actually homeless, but as often as not ends up sleeping amongst the homeless. I got to be friends with him, because if he isn't on the move, or too drunk to see straight, he is always reading. My eldest (six then) was often quite insistent that we buy him something to eat, because he was one of the few people who never treated him like a kid.
I rather miss our homeless, deranged and drug-addled friends in Portland.