Saturday, February 2, 2008

In Memory of Mildred"The Pigeon Lady " of Columbus

Living in Columbus,Georgia for more than 15 years, I have always seen her at the downtown area and 13th Street area. She always pushed a grocery cart, with some groceries and a big bag of birds seed.She is Miss Midred Veasley Upshaw. She live a simple life of a homeless person. She lived on the street ,camping at the curb on Columbus Cherry Avenue and by the downtown area. She has a pot, where she sometimes cook by her campsite.She bought Johnnie Walker Red Label Scothch at Mr B's liqour store. She love the pigeons and they loved her. She fed them from the seed bags she bought with her groceries at Lewis Jones on 13 th Street.
That's why she got her nick name "The Pigeon Lady of Columbus".
She chose to live a life without walls. Some say she is a little mental but some said that she is highly educated and she is very rich. She lived the way she wanted to live, says her relative. She chose to roam, stubbornly refusing relatives' offer to help her find a home. Despite her odd choices ,she had no mental illness.She never go on welfare and never accept donation from anyone. Once I tried to give her a few dollars, but she told me to go away. She always
buy her seeds,meat,charcoal and firewood. She never get drunk, she never bothered anyone.She lived a simple quiet life on the street .
Her simple life ended last Tuesday morning when she died of hypothermia, and that sad news has prompted people to call the Columbus Ledger newspaper and coroner to ask what they can do and when her funeral. Her funeral was at 4pm at the Sconier's Funeral Home at 836,Fifth Ave. Columbus, where visitors will be given 2 minutes to share a memory of her Life. Her family has asked that in lieu of flowers, to make a donation for a local homeless shelter.
Miss Upshaw was born Oct.31,1928, in Waverly Hall,Ga. She was 79.
A lot of residents in Columbus has missed The Pigeon Lady. "You can't imagine how many hearts she's touched" said Wyatt ,an employee of Lewis Jones. "She 's like part of Columbus,Georgia". She always refused offers of food, money or blankets.
What remained of Miss Upshaw's other possessions still lay scattered Friday at the curb on Cherry Avenue where four bundles of flowers were braced against a tree to which was tacked a wooden sign that read: We'll miss you, Ms Mildred. Your Lewis Jones Family".
The Pigeon Lady of Columbus will always be remembered by manyt of us here in Columbus. We Missed You, Miss Upshaw.Who is going to feed the pigeons now?

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