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Community Gets Together to Celebrate Rickey's New Home

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Wednesday, May 06, 2009, at 10:48AM
Digging In Ed Fuentes

Rickey Taylor and Floria Johnson at The Exchange buffet table.

On Tuesday night, an undisclosed Downtown business owner came up to the dapper man in a two-piece suit to whisper congratulations in his ear, the one with a decorative pirate-style earring. He then slipped him a hundred dollar bill.

It was just one of the donations given to Rickey Taylor last evening at a housewarming event held in his honor at The Exchange.

Friends and neighbors came to celebrate Taylor's recently secured home at the Rainbow Apartments, his first permanent address after nearly thirty years on the streets. As a DJ played, anyone with a camera took pictures with the Pirate of Main Street while others enjoyed the small buffet dinner.

A highlight was homemade peach cobbler from Floria Johnson, Taylor's mother.

"Thank God there were so many looking out after him,' she said. "This is the most beautiful affair."

So is Johnson ok being known as Momma Pirate? "That's what I am," she said.

The night, organized by Russ Brown, showed that -- if one will excuse the pirate metaphor -- Rickey is treasured by those living and working Downtown.

Monetary donations from local residents, businessman and Council District 9's Jan Perry will be joined by just as important everyday items such as towels, kitchen utensils, and blankets. Items can still be donated through The Exchange (114 W. 5th).

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