Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The People you Meet - or not

Live long enough you will meet plenty of characters, or at least get to see them; everyday folks who wander past your life, through your life, or hang out there in your peripheral vision.  Forty some odd years ago (gee, that makes me sound ancient) a 'character' occassionally passed in my periphery.  I say in my 'periphery' 'cause if I saw her I trekked to the other side - of the street that is. 

I never knew her full name until today when I read her obituary in the Detroit News.  Her name was Stella Paris and she died at 97.  She was one of so many homeless people I would see hanging around the Greektown area where I spent most of my time from 1966 til 1977, either attending classes at Wayne State's Medical School or working at Detroit Receiving Hospital.

Frankly, Stella scared the dickens out of me.  She reminded my of one of our old neighbor ladies who chased kids with a rolling pin.  Not that Stella was violent, she was more 'creepy'.  Standing on the corner yelling in some strange language, some of it Greek, some not.  One of my co-workers used to give her money.  Me, I never got that close.  You just never knew.

When I read the paper this morning and saw the story, I realized that never once did I ever think about the homeless folks who would often sleep in front of the heat vents in front of the hospital after I left my job.  I never wondered what happened in their lives that caused them to be on the streets when I was working there.  Was it their choice, or someone else's? 

As for Stella, no one sems to know what her story really was.  I would hope that at some point in her long life she was important to someone.  And that whatever demons seemed to haunt her all those years on the streets found their rest long before she finally did.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear your comments and will try to reply on this blog and visit your blog when available.