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Carlester “Buckwheat” Smith, an Annapolis Icon, Passes Away

| March 01, 2021, 08:46 PM

Carlester “Buckwheat” Smith passed away earlier this evening according to a Facebook post from his family. For those that have lived in Annapolis for many years, Carlester was a fixture along West Street and Forest Drive as he spent his days walking and cleaning up our City of trash. Most of the restaurants and businesses along West Street would pay him a bit for his work in cleaning up the parking lot and sidewalk.

Throughout the years he had many nicknames including Lessie, the Walking Man, the Bag Man (he used to shake his bags in breeze as he walked), and quite likely many more. And rumors swirled about him ranging from he was a homeless man (he wasn’t) to he was a very wealthy eccentric man who kept his money buried somewhere in Annapolis (unconfirmed, but doubtful).

He was a beloved institution of Annapolis and despite never saying much to anyone, residents always looked out for him along the streets and would worry if they did not see him. As he got older, it became impossible for him to walk and periodically, his family needed to assure the community that he was indeed alright and being cared for by his loving family.

He was elusive and aside from family photos and passersby, the only one to get a photo with Carlester was local portrati photographer David Hartcorn who simply approached him and asked if he’d pose.

And this image, was subsequently used as the basis of a 2012 piece of art produced by Jimi Haha and Jeff Huntington.

In May of 2020, his family was having difficulty affording his care and the community stepped up with a Facebook Fundraiser that ultimately raised more than $20,000 for his care.

And in the summer of 2020, local artist, Comacell “Cell Spitfire” Brown painted a mural honoring our “Walking Man” on the side of Pinkey’s Liquor Store.

Smith was 63.

Severn Bank

 

Category: Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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