Tuesday, July 24, 2012


It has been a week in my neck of the woods. The picture above is Sidney Tapscott. I can tell you a few things about him:

1. He was an old gray haired man the first time I saw him and old and grey this week. This week he passed away at the age of maybe 85 or maybe 92.

2. He wore denim overalls and black framed glasses.

3. He introduced some of the best bands in town. The Hackensaw Boys (who he introduced as the Arkansas Boys) and the Hogwaller Ramblers (who he called the Tennessee Ramblers) and he played harmonica too.

4. He was a street sweeper. He kept the sidewalks clean and was paid by downtown merchants.

5. My friends own a diner and it was written in the contract that they would feed Sidney whenever he came in. One thing he liked to eat was pancakes and one thing he liked to drink was Dr. Pepper. The waitresses cut his pancakes into small pieces, even during the busiest brunch shifts. I have cut many a pancake for him.

This same diner organized his birthday parties, his wake and his funeral.

6. The Facebook group that started in his honor (about 3 days ago) has 1677 friends right now.

7. His eyes twinkled and he was a real flirt. He had a lot of "girlfriends" and a lot of these girlfriends were waitresses.

It's hard to explain what it means to me.  We all knew he had this hard life but I don't know the details. The care that people gave him was genuine.