Every morning I would see him in front of a bar on the first block on Sutter Street.

George would usually be resting on a garbage can, reading. Frequently, I would go into Café Bianco to buy him a cup of coffee and a bagel. He was a very bright, articulate guy and we had some interesting chats.

George had a terrible cough and emphysema, but smoked! I talked to him about quitting, but never made that sale.

One morning he asked me for ten dollars. He would pay me in the afternoon, as soon as he cashed his Social Security check, which he showed me.

I gave him the dough and after my lunch at Café Bianco, I saw him at his perch. He beckoned to me and gave me a "fiver." He had some convoluted excuse and told me he would give me the rest "tomorrow." He never did

A few weeks later I was surprised to see him at his spot on a Saturday morning. We got talking when he complained of some chest pain and asked me to call 911.

A few minutes later, both a fire truck and an ambulance came and hauled him away.

A week later, there was George, reading on his garbage can. So what happened? He told me he was released after a week and was just "fine” now.

Still smoking, still coughing.

A month later they took George away for the last time.