Friday, September 09, 2016

I saw him!

Thursday gave me my first Walking Dude sighting in months! I was so happy to see him!

The Walking Dude is a unique Chicago character. He's tall, thin and his long hair and mustache are always lustrous and shiny. And he walks. All day. All night. He wanders the city. Occasionally selling wristwatches to the drivers waiting at cabstands. But mostly he watches the river or monitors construction and then starts walking again.

In May, something terrible happened. A thug took a baseball bat and beat Walking Dude senseless. It was a stupid, pointless act of cruelty. Walking Dude has nothing worth stealing, except his quiet dignity, and he's never done anyone any harm.

He was in the hospital for weeks as doctors worked to restore his eyesight and mobility. More than 1,000 Chicagoans pitched in nearly $40,000 for his care.

He has rejected any attention or publicity. He refused to press charges against the man who beat him because he feared appearing in court. Despite all the media coverage his plight received, he's refused to appear on camera, joking that he doesn't want to be "a Kardashian," or a person who is famous for nothing.

So today when I saw him on the street, I resisted the impulse to reach out and shake his hand. He wants to be left alone, and I respect that. But I was thrilled to see him, all the same.

Walk on, Dude.


  1. Thanks for introducing us to the walking man. That's a pretty interesting story and I'm glad he has recovered. I have a homeless man story I should share in my blog. We do miss them when they are gone.

  2. So glad your Walking Man is once again walking!