Popeye Alive, but Barely

     A friend told me that Ron Gray, aka Popeye, was looking for me.

     See, I had written about Popeye, the homeless, but not drifting 56 year old, last September. He says I helped make him famous.  And  I knew just where to find him….


     At his home, in the parking lot of Home Depot.

     I shared Popeye’s sad tale with you about a year ago, about falling from the work truck, losing his house, and then his wife, and when my friend told me he thought Popeye had been in the hospital with pneumonia, I expected the worse.

     But there he was, back at home, scrunched over in his filthy wheelchair, at the entrance to Home Depot..

     “Hey Popeye”, I yelled a bit, as Popeye is hard of hearing, his “house” is quite noisy, and I wanted to see if he was breathing!

     He sat up to chat. “Is that Tim Smith?”

     You see, after I wrote about him last year, quite a few of you stopped by to get him a meal, some clothes, even a new shoe.


     Popeye looked awful. His cheeks are caving in, his head and arms are so sun-burned it’s painful to look at, and all his veins seem to be jumping out of his skin.

     I told Popeye I didn’t think he was going to last another year in the parking garage, and he agreed. I remembered that Popeye had told me last time we spoke that he was think of putting his bad leg on the RR track to get some permanent aid. I was glad he hadn’t.

     I told him I was going to do an update on him, and he was pleased. “Tell them I could use another shoe, right foot, size ten and a half”.

     Last year he was size eleven.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *