August 30, 2022 •
To the Good Morning Man
To the Good Morning Man – For nearly a decade here in Washington, D.C. on the corner of 15th and K Streets sat a man who would blow his whistle very loudly and proclaim “Goooooddddd Morninnnggg!” to everyone that walked by – I’m telling you he blew that whistle about as loud as it could blow! You could hear him yell, “Good Morning Young Lady!” or “Good Morning Young Man!”. It would have been almost comical to see this had it not been for the fact that I suspected that he was a homeless man who just decided to pass his time away engaging with folks via his whistle and his cheerful voice!
You’ll notice that I’ve written this piece in the past tense, because, yes, unfortunately, I found out that “The Good Morning Man” passed away on July 29th from liver cancer. A news alert came through my phone noting this, along with the story of the man who once was known as Larry Tutt – a Vietnam Veteran who suffered from PTSD and lived a life that was plagued by drugs, mental illness and a decade in jail on a burglary conviction. As it turns out, according to a Washington Post article on Mr. Tutt, he was not homeless, but in fact rode the Metro each morning at 5:00am to head down to the corner of 15th and K Streets, an area in the heart of Washington, D.C.’s lawyer and lobby district, to bring a little cheer to everyone who walked by…
A few weeks ago, I was walking by that area and noticed that Mr. Tutt wasn’t there… There is scaffolding around the buildings located there, so I figured he just moved himself to another corner, though in the back of my mind, that explanation never really did seem comforting. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that sometimes I would avoid walking passed 15th and K Streets because I would say to myself, “I don’t feel like hearing that loud whistle in my ear this morning!”. Little did I know how much I would miss hearing those sounds now that I’ll never get the chance to hear them again, nor to engage Mr. Tutt outside of just a friendly “Hello” as I kept on walking about my business – what I would do now to have one more opportunity just to talk to him and hear his story!
What a valuable lesson! Do take the time to engage with people at every opportunity – you will be surprised at what you’ll likely learn from one another, and oh what wonderful things you’ll have in common! Rest In Peace now Mr. Tutt, “Mr. Good Morning Man” — well deserved!
For more information on the life of Larry Tutt, see the Washington Post article referenced in this piece here.
Until Next Time!
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