by Jose Ruiz
I want to start off by stating that Eliot was a rare individual of high intelligence, integrity and morals. Eliot passed away yesterday on the streets of his beloved Coral Springs. I’ve known Eliot going on 24 years.. He was one of few people that I could call my friend. Today my wife Maureen and I shed many tears for Eliot.
For many many years Eliot and I had a standing appointment every Tuesday morning. I would pick him up at the bank or at “Mona’s kids” or at the Starbucks and He would spend the morning doing his laundry, taking a shower and listening to jazz in our home. Needless to say that a charitable gesture which my wife Maureen suggested many years ago opened up a fantastic world for me into the life of this homeless person.
Did you know that he is a college graduate? He worked in the legal department for the city of New York for many years when he could still function. He was an avid Drummer with enough talent to get him a gig for a couple of seasons in the Catskills.
I don’t believe that there is a government office in New York that Eliot didn’t know the address and or phone number. If you wanted to know anything about jazz and jazz musicians, Eliot knew.
Call any of the past mayors of Coral Springs and all of them will tell you that they knew Eliot. They shared the same thought, that he was a pain in the ass but they all listened and respected him. How well will the Coral Springs Police department function without Eliot’s daily report on crime in the city? It was difficult for them to have to listen to these daily reports year after years but how many times did these reports prevent crime or ended in an arrest.
Eliot was Coral Spring’s protector although everyone thought that he was crazy. Perhaps they can name a street, or park after him. This city was his home, his family. Coral Springs should not let him be forgotten.
Editor’s Note. UPDATED OCTOBER 19th : The Jewish organization CHABAD had offered to arrange for the funeral of Elliot and through tremendous donations given to the organization for Elliot’s burial, a plot was allocated. at their cemetery However, the Coral Springs Police Department has located an uncle of Elliot’s in Chicago who will be making the arrangements. The Chabad organization has thanked the kindness of the people of Coral Springs ,and has returned the donations . Looks like Elliot is remembered and not forgotten after all. – H.M.