Charlottesville Community Remembering Sidney Tapscott
Photos Courtesy of the Friends of Sidney Tapscott Facebook Page
The Charlottesville community is remembering Sidney Tapscott, a man known for frequenting diners, playing music, volunteering his time to clean up around town, and charming people everywhere he went.
He passed away Tuesday night at 89 years old, but his friends say his legacy of kindness will live on.
Tapscott was always seen around Charlottesville wearing overalls and a red bandana. He'd sweep and wipe windows for different businesses from the corner to the downtown mall, and people said he kept the entire town clean.
"My daughter, when she was little she would say 'there's the man who cleans the world', but he was so much more than that. He was just a friend to everybody," said his friend Pam Fisher.
On Wednesday, the day after his death, it was clear just how many people were touched by his kindness.
"He swept Charlottesville, he cleaned for Charlottesville, and just kind of won a lot of people's hearts," said another friend Ginger Larkin. "He was an entertainer. He loved to play his harmonica with the different bands and introduce the different bands, especially the local favorites: Hogwaller Ramblers and the Hackensaw Boys."
At the Blue Moon Diner they're remembering Tapscott, who'd always come in for a free stack of pancakes. Friends who knew Tapscott said the Blue Moon Diner was one of his favorite places - he'd play music, celebrate his birthdays, and entertain people there.
Wednesday, a jar sits in the Blue Moon Diner to collect money for his funeral.
Larkin said she's happy "the Charlottesville community embraced someone so special as Sidney and loved him and felt that he's part of their family and home."
Tapscott didn't let his mental disability get him down. Instead, it was his spirit and helping hand that lifted others up. A Facebook page made in his memory already has more than 1,500 friends.
"He just made friend after friend everywhere that he went and in every diner that he sat in," Fisher said.
Funeral arrangements are still being finalized. There are also talks about throwing a concert in Tapscott's memory to raise money for a memorial for him, perhaps on the downtown mall in Charlottesville.
"Sidney has kind of become an icon. He is an icon. He is what Charlottesville is all about in embracing community spirit," Fisher said.
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