The Nicest Escort Ever

Walt wouldn’t have wanted me to write this post.  If I could tell him I was going to write a blog post in his memory, I think he would have looked uncomfortable – the same look he got when I complimented him or told him how much we appreciated him.  He would have shook his head, “no,” and said, “Oh, you don’t have to do that.”   Walt was the most modest and unassuming person I’ve known.

But I think he would have approved of this post in the end, or at least agreed to let me do it, if I explained it was really for us.  If I told him that we just wanted to share a few memories and publicly say good-bye, I think he would have given in and told me we could do it.

From his fellow escorts:

I still can’t believe it is true I can’t get my head around the idea that such a caring person is gone so suddenly,maybe next Saturday I’ll see him walking down the side walk then I’ll know I was dreaming.

~~ AI

Walt was a true gentle man and an example of civility

~~RS

Class act that guy. Chatted with him a few weeks ago. Never mentioned he was sick. Talked about his daughters. Hoping his family is doing ok.

~~JR

I remember him always smiling, always full of cheerful good mornings. And the cheerful good mornings were to the escorts and protesters alike. Nodding good morning and smiling, with his hat off and pressed against his chest as he passed through the prayer line. Class act indeed!

~~KS

I already miss him & his always smiling face.

~~JT

Way too bad. The last thing I heard him say was a suggestion to do what seems right, to which I made a flip reply. But that was clearly more important than I realized at the time, spoken as it was by a man who was out on the street engaged in his activism only a couple of weeks before his death. That’s practically dying with your boots on. Rest in power, Walter.

~~AD

That corner will always be “Walter’s corner” to me.

~~CB

Walter was the nicest person I have ever met. Full stop. He always had a smile, a warm greeting and a kind word for everyone he met. He will be missed in my life and in the escort community.

~~PC

It just won’t be the same without Walter’s big bright smile warming up that strip of 2nd street.

~~MS

Walter was a quiet, gracious person, friendly to everyone. He seemed to like to be in quiet surroundings, but was willing to endure the harsh cacophony often demonstrated on the sidewalk on Saturday mornings, to stand up for women and their rights. He would stand on ‘his’ corner all morning, smiling at anyone who came by and making encouraging comments to clients and companions.

Sometimes I would stand with him when it was calm on the corner, and we would chat a little, and then just spend time being quiet. He told me once he appreciated my quiet presence, and that meant a lot to me. I will certainly miss him, and will always remember his smiling face.

~~PG

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RIP Walter…

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3 thoughts on “The Nicest Escort Ever

  1. (Excerpt from a longer comment)
    I knew Walt years ago when I lived in Louisville and came out as a sidewalk counselor each week. Although we were on different sides out on the sidewalk, we struck up a friendship and even began meeting after the morning rush to discuss our different perspectives over coffee at White Castle. I remember how he insisted that he always buy my coffee and then I got to buy his.

    What I loved about Walt was how he genuinely cared about people. He listened with compassion and made you feel that he really respected you and valued your opinion. I also admired that he was open to hearing so many different perspectives as he sought to make sense of life and achieve the peace we all long for. And he was brave. He was brave in a quiet, unassuming way. Despite his quiet nature and his desire for solitude, he willed himself to interact with the world around him and constantly reached out to people even though he’d probably prefer to be left alone…

  2. While I never had a chance to feel like I REALLY got to know him in my comparatively brief time on the sidewalk, he made a lasting impression. Every morning I saw him out there, he would greet protesters and escorts alike with the same genuine good will. I don’t know if I’ll ever be that unconditionally kind, but he leaves a wonderful example for how to be a good human. I am grateful to him and all the supportive individuals in his life for this.

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