He Was A Good Man And A Friend

Ballons released in honor of Grady Steven Scott
Balloons released by Grady’s family and friends in his memory, near the site where he was killed by a speeding car.

At the time of this writing, it’s been 3 weeks since he’s been gone, yet no news media has mentioned the tragic collision that ended his life.  Some bystanders at the accident who did not know him surmised from his appearance that he was homeless, and some even presumed that he was drunk or under the influence of drugs, or that he did not look carefully before stepping off the curb into the street.  None of this is true, except for his lack of a permanent dwelling place.

His name was Grady Steven Scott, and while he was without a home, he was not an irresponsible drunkard, or a drug addict.  He was a son, a brother, an uncle, a bighearted man, and a good friend to anyone who would take the time to know him.  In the years that I have been visiting homeless people near the intersection of Shadeland and 21st Street in Indianapolis, he has been polite, always greeting me with a big smile, asking me how I was doing, and was genuinely concerned for my well being and safety in that area.  He showed deep gratitude for the things my friends and I do for the homeless.  He took very little from us, often saying, “Thank you, but I’ve got all I need; better give it to someone else who needs it more than me.”  He was the kind of man who would gladly give the shirt off his back to another that he deemed needed it more. Even in death, he donated his liver to save someone’s life.

While he struggled with mental illness (bipolar disorder), he always gave his best at any temporary work he could find.  On July 29th, 2019, the day that he was hit by a speeding vehicle, he was as sober as anyone could be.  He spent many hours fixing an ice machine at the Exxon gas station convenience store.  He impressed the manager so much that he was offered a part-time job.  He then said to Jill, another employee there, “Today’s my lucky day!” His hard work to find stable employment and get out of homelessness finally came to fruition.  He bid Jill good-bye and was crossing the street to run an errand, intending to return to the store later that evening to help Jill with the closing of the store.  But he never returned because, after carefully looking for oncoming cars (as he habitually did), when he stepped off the curb, according to eyewitness account, a speeding car “came out of nowhere” and hit him so hard that he “flew” to hit another car.  In that one instant, by the action of a careless driver, Grady’s life ended, just when he was about to taste the fruit of his discipline and get out of homelessness.

To the media, he wasn’t newsworthy, but to me, he was a good man and a friend I will miss very much.