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REMEMBRANCE : A Friend of Society's Outcasts

August 09, 1992

It was a hot Sunday afternoon about this time last year on the south lawn of L.A. City Hall, where Justiceville holds periodic concert rallies for the homeless. There was excitement in the air with the expectation of the arrival of rhythm-and-blues artist and Motown great Mary Wells (Obituary, Section A, July 27).

We all knew she was ill with cancer and felt so honored that she had consented to come and be with us, the outcasts of society.

Suddenly, a car pulled up on Main Street; I smiled with contentment that Mary Wells herself had actually come. The deejay played her hit tune "My Guy." My colleagues rushed over to the car, we greeted her, took her by the hand and led her through the adoring crowd to the steps of City Hall.

Too weak to speak, she whispered to her daughter her remarks--expressions of love, concern and oneness with us--and she offered her help anytime we needed it.

The people pressed forward after her speech to shake her hand, to hug her, kiss her. Some even cried. I stood back and smiled at the sight of joy between her and the homeless. She graciously gave her autograph to every person who asked.

Mary was tired, her health was weakening, yet she braved the heat, the traffic, the uncertainty and gave of herself that glorious day. We will all remember her. She did something that many luminaries of her caliber would not dream of doing.

How she came to be such a loving and caring person, I do not know, other than it must have been God. We thank God that Mary Wells is now with him in peace. Thank you, Mary Wells.



Justiceville/Homeless, U.S.A.

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