I first met Willy just before, well months before actually, 

when Mr. Harvey rolled through Rockport and hung around for a few hours, that was a nasty hurricane. I’ve written about  Willy in the past, only then I knew him as Clyde, same fellow, different moniker.

   Just recently he’d stopped by the house and I’d had lay’d down for a nap. “Willy’s at the door!” Linda said, “should I let him in?”

   “Who’s Willy? Was my reply. Seems as if he’s always went by his Nick-name; the reason I only knew him as Clyde is because I sold him a MacGregor 21, a short time before Harvey showed up. The paperwork being put in Clyde’s name.His up beat attitude is what stayed with me. Devastation all around but his 21 footer came through without a scratch. 

   Perpetually broke, living on SSI for many years, single, he’s known the hard life. He moved the MacGregor to a nearby lot, and he lived on site in a tiny shed, maybe 8×10.

But he had hopes. One of those hopes was putting that Mac in the water and renting it out. Well, that didn’t work out so well. Ended up he was kicked off the property, the owner and he had a falling out and Willy was served with papers, in short, to keep his distance. 

   Willy was back to square one. Living in conditions most would abhor, his smile was still infectious. He’d come by the house that day a few months ago, on his bike, Willys 65 years young. Asked about a refrigerator he’d seen at our old place, wanted to buy it if it still ran. 

   “Willy” I said, “for you it’s free!” His eyes lit up again. The next day I happened by the house and Willy was there with another fellow, a younger fellow in his early twenties. Seems Willy had talked him into helping him cart the fridge on a hand truck tied to a bike. 

   “Willy, let’s put that thing in the truck, along with the bikes and the hand truck. I’ll give you a lift.”

   Several months before someone had given me a 21’ sailboat and trailer, some repairs, much cleaning needed, I’d gotten the boats title free and clear, the trailer’s paperwork was a nightmare. Explaining such to Willy, I then asked him if he wanted the sailboat and trailer. “Oh yes!” He said, no second thoughts. Said he’d pay later. “No, no.”

I said, “no money, this is a freebie”.

   The young friend of his has a girlfriend who showed up with a small U-Haul truck. A phone call from Willy, and we met at the house. Hooked it up and away they went. 

   Willy’s back on cloud nine, just as broke, lost his ID, but he’s happy again. He’s gotten over the loss of the MacGregor, this new to him has more room, he can actually sit up comfortably. I stopped by the other day. He’d painted it. A kind of tan color. “The only can of paint around here that had enough in it to do the job!” Willy said.

   Willy’s happy, I’m happy. What’s not to like?


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