A snowy day and an unusual man walking by yelling, inspire this post today.

(I'll post his pic later.)

There is an abundance of mentally ill and homeless people in my tolerant and tiny college city.

A town small enough that often these lost souls are befriended on our one Main St.

The man that tanned in front of the bank all year, the guy that wore 3 caps one stacked on the other. Many others too.

As well as my personal favorite, John Borg. He was known for painting his bike a different color at least weekly if not more.

He always frequented the local watering holes. All the bartenders welcomed him.

I became acquainted with him at the last restaurant I worked in.

The owners considered him a fixture. He came with the place.

So, even though they had gone upscale, this schizophrenic, bald man was welcomed.

I was instucted to give him a free diet coke when he came by.

Some days I did so reluctantly because one never knew what state Johnnie was in.

If he was off his meds he might yell at me, tell me I was fired -(he believed he was a secret owner of the restaurant) shoot a pretend bullet from his index finger at me, then leave.

Half an hour later though he'd come back and apologize.

He was transplanted here from NY to our local state hospital when he was a much younger man.

He'd been a repairman and married with a child but all that was history.

All he really knew at this point was that he was a schizophrenic, in a rooming house. Turned out, when our state institutions closed.

I knew Johnnie for 11 years and he alternately shot me and brought me sterling silver jewelry from the local Goodwill where he loved to shop. He was forever buying himself "new" wigs there.

He was such a character. We knew each other well over the years. So well, that he began to imagine we were somehow married.

I'm a single mom and some of my dullest work moments were brightened by this funny guy in a stark black, beatle cut wig. Particularly when he leaned across the bar and said to me, "I know we're married JoAnne but I don't know how we got those two kids."

Oh, John. You're the only person I EVER let call me JoAnne.

Rest in peace buddy.

Happy Monday everyone! oxo josie  life's never boring!