I was told today that John, the paraplegic who at one time lived in a group home and navigated Manchester Road in Maplewood in a motorized wheelchair, passed on a few weeks ago.
He was well known at Jimmy John’s, Maplewood Pawn, Crow’s Nest, Citizens National Bank..
An employee at Paramount told about once selling John a nice watch he wanted, which he did, but John beat it up from his normal use. After being sent to the manufacturer twice for repair they said no more. Later he gave John a Casio watch. John protested but the jeweler insisted, saying he shouldn’t have sold him the other one in the first place. He wondered if John passed on wearing the watch.
He also told me how John would go to the Crow’s Nest after getting his disability check, and told him to slow down as he raced down the sidewalk after.
Last summer I came across John sitting in the hot sun at the corner of Manchester and Sutton; his chair wasn’t working and he was asking for help getting it going. I tried every switch I could find. Then another guy came by and pitched in. We weren’t having any luck but didn’t want to leave him sitting there. Then someone driving by stuck his head out the window and said if we kick the battery that will get it going. We did, and it did.
As is always the case, we often know only a small part of someones life when they die. I’m sure John was a friendly part of many lives.