girls uniform polo shirts Macomb County courthouse s shoe shine man honored
Well wishers of the beloved Otis Hopson showered him with hugs, donations and heartfelt greetings Friday during a celebration for the longtime shoe shine man in the Macomb County courthouse lobby.
Hopson, 94, has been missing from his familiar post at his stand the past few months due to health issues. So county Clerk Carmella Sabaugh and her administrative assistant Kim Cady decided to recognize Otis with a party.
Hopson is well known among courthouse employees, lawyers and others who frequent the building in downtown Mount Clemens. In addition to providing a top notch shoe renewal for 21 years, Hopson plays the harmonica, quotes from the Bible and delves into area history.
Dozens of people including Sabaugh, County Executive Mark Hackel and many lawyers stopped by to visit, sign an oversized card and contribute a couple of dollars.
He s like an angel, county employee Diane DeMeyere said. He s just a gem.
We miss you, employee Elaine Kelly told Hopson as she leaned over and embraced him.
I miss you. I m getting my strength back, Hopson replied.
As soon as we see you coming back we ll be thrilled, she said.
Moments later Kelly said, He s a wonderful man. The lobby doesn t seem the same without him.
Hopson s reaction to the fanfare was typical Otis : I m blessed. I appreciate it. God is good.
But Cady didn t call it a retirement party because Otis said he plans to return when his health improves. He s been suffering from arthritis in his legs and has been undergoing physical therapy.
I m doing much better,
Hopson said. I never said this was a retirement. I intend to shine more shoes. God said that you should work until you die. I may not feel well now, but God performs miracles.
Hopson was living in Mount Clemens but has moved in with his daughter, Donnie Barnes, in Detroit. Barnes drove him to the celebration and vowed she will drive him daily when he returns.
I think it shows he s made an impact, what more could you ask for? Barnes said. He taught me to be a giver. He always told me to be humble and treat others the way you want to be treated.
I personally go to see Otis not necessarily to get a shoe shine or hear his harmonica, but just to bathe in his optimism, said attorney Stuart Pinsky, who visited Friday. He is a walking history book. He s lived through a lot and has a wealth of information. Our country should cherish old people for their experience and knowledge.
People s fondness for Hopson hasn t gone unnoticed. The Macomb County Bar Association last year designated Hopson as the first and only honorary member. In May, Hackel gave the name Otis to one of the peregrine falcon chicks that resides on a perch on the 11th floor of the old county Building, next to the courthouse.
He s an institution, said Rick Troy, MCBA executive director.
After Hopson first became ill, Cady said she put the word out that Hopson needed a wheelchair. A day or two later, she received two,
both from unknown sources although she believes one came from Hackel s office. Hopson took one home and uses the other one at the courthouse.