The Little Old Man On His Porch
The do not know the name of the man above, I wished I did, then I could probably find out if he is dead or not.
For a few years now, on Sunday mornings off and on, I have been biking down around the center of Marietta looking at my old stomping grounds and taking a picture now and then.
Usually I find myself gravitating towards my home during my formative years, which is on Manget Street in Marietta, overlooking the huge park with its series of various sport fields.
Behind us lived my uncle Herbert Hunter (1901-1976). The back of our yards touched. Herbert’s wife Willy died a few years before him. He spent about three years living alone.
In the mornings his routine would be to pick up his widow neighbor Mrs. Morgan’s morning newspaper in the driveway, read it, then fold it back up and place it on her front porch, so she would not have to walk down the steps.
One morning the paper was still in her driveway. She got it and walked out a little ways to look at Herbert’s driveway and his car was there. She walked over and knocked on his door, nobody came. She called his daughter, and shortly, he was found dead sitting on his couch in the living room.
FF to my bike rides in older Marietta. As I cruised through my old neighborhood there was always a little old man in a wheelchair sitting on his front porch with his little black dog near by. His house was on the other side of Herbert’ house from Mrs. Morgan. Each time I would ride by I would wave at him and he would wave back. He had a little sign sticking up in his yard saying he sold Amway products – or was it Stanley products?
One day, I turned into his little short sidewalk going to his porch and got out and talked to him. I told him my uncle Herbert lived next door.
He said he was very fond of “Mr. Hunter” the one that found him. He said “Mr. Hunter’s oldest daughter” called him and asked him to check on him. He had a key to the house. He opened the door and there was Herbert sitting on his couch, dead. He lived 75 years.
After that, I kept stopping by talking to him. He was always sitting on the front porch watching people walk by. Now, it is mostly a transition neighborhood with a lot of Hispanics. One time a lady was sitting on his porch swing, which he introduced as a “friend”. Un-huh.
Not only did I when I rode my bike down the street I would see him but also when I was in my truck I would take a slight detour and see him sitting on his porch and wave.
Then, he wasn’t there! Neither was his little black dog.
I made a point of rerouting ever time I was near downtown Marietta and he has not been on his porch any of the times I rode by.
I can’t help but think, somebody found him.