HOUSE NEWS: Former guest found dead in Newnan’s Lake
Many of you may have seen the story in this morning’s Gainesville Sun about Ollen James Rogers, identified as the homeless man found dead in Newnan’s Lake on Wednesday. Ollen was a former guest of the house, and my interactions with Ollen were always kind and friendly. Ollen stayed with us during either our first or second year in the Blue House. Ollen had a pretty nice set-up out in the woods where he lived comfortably with several others, including family members. He was a bit of a throwback, a real man’s man–strong, independent and no-nonsense. The only reason he stayed with us for a few weeks was because he had been in a bad accident (on his bike I think) and when the hospital released him, they had told him he needed to rest, recuperate and be close enough for any return visits if needed. He came to the house pretty beat up, bruised and hobbling, lots of bandages.
Ollen wasn’t a regular at the house. He came by every once in awhile, usually on Sundays for the cafe during those first couple of years in the Blue House. I had been out to Ollen’s campsite on occasion, including one trip back in September 2004 when the hurricanes were coming our way. Several folks had gone out to some of the sites to see if anyone wanted to come to safer ground during the storm. I remember Ollen thanking us for the concern but noting that he would be just fine where he was, thank you very much.
Ollen James Rogers, age 53, we give thanks for having known you. May you rest in peace.