The Walker

by Charles McGrath


Does anyone remember "The Walker" on South Orange Avenue? He was like an icon.

He was a short man around 5'4" with a modest build. He never wore a hat and walked in all types of weather. He would walk to and from Downtown everyday. In his younger years he lived on Pine Grove Terrace. At that time he worked for the Prudential Insurance Company. A rolled up newspaper was either in his left hand or his back pocket. He did this for more years than I can remember.

As a young man I was always impressed by his endurance and fortitude. He was a very friendly man and always had a ready smile. A friendly toot from my car's horn would generate a big wave plus an acceleration in his gait.

I met him personally around 10 years ago, shortly before he died. At that time he was living in South Orange. He appeared to be in his seventies. His name was Frank and I learned that he was a boxer in his youth. He was a very nice man. He was always very pleasant and seldom without a smile. He never wore a hat no matter how inclement the weather.

Few of us will be remembered after our demise. Fewer still as Icons. Frank was an Icon.


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