“Mute and Alone, He Was Never Short of Kind Words or Friends” – The New York Times

Ben“Bernhardt Wichmann III in his room in Manhattan in 2009. ‘He had plenty of reasons to be unhappy,’ a friend said. ‘But I never saw him unhappy.’” Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

This is a wonderful story of a man who embodied “happy.”

by N.R. Kleinfeld | The New York Times

“The man who lost his voice was a gentle man who didn’t ask terribly much of life. He lived in a miniature space in a single-room-occupancy residence on the corner of 74th Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan, above J. G. Melon, the popular restaurant and bar known for succulent hamburgers. And he was a New York story.

“He was a New York story because he didn’t have a lot and yet he gave a lot. And in return he got what New York for all its busyness so often offers those who could use a good dose of it — kindness. The city can be cold and aloof and you can live crunched amid its population and remain lonely and overlooked. You can also be someone unremarkable and be made to feel like Mr. Big Shot.

“The name of the man who lost his voice was Bernhardt Wichmann III. Sounds like an old-money name for sure, but any money ever attached to it was no longer visible.”

Read this article about Mr. Wichmann in its entirety at The New York Times.

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