On Mother’s Day this year Chelsea lost one of the icons of our town.
No he was not a rich man, or a powerful man, or a local leader, but someone who brought joy and friendship into many people’s lives in Chelsea.
There is no one living in town that can say they have not seen him riding one of his various 10 speed bikes around town day after day, month after month, year after year!
Yes, I am speaking of Phil Heymann.
We moved to Chelsea in 2004 from Livonia so we could raise our son, in a small town, where people knew and cared about each other. We were tired of just being another number in the Detroit suburbs.
Phil was the epitome of the small-town person we were looking for. We met Phil very early on in the same way everyone met Phil. As he rode around town, he would strike up conversations with just about anyone, like his own independent welcoming committee.
He loved just shooting the breeze with you telling you tales of his love of golf, his beloved potbelly pig, or the latest round of aches and pains he unfortunately suffered with for so many years, that the bike riding helped with, somewhat.
My husband and I laughed and laughed at the many tales he would tell as we sat on our porch, like people used to do before we were all too busy to even notice our neighbors.
He would find “treasures” in various places, clean them up, and give them to little tikes he knew around town, telling them it was “Pirate Treasure,” which, of course, they would believe with great excitement.
He loved to make a daily stop at the Chelsea State Bank for a cup of coffee and to visit with his many teller friends who counted on his visits for some comic relief. Phil had few possessions in life, but he had a wealth of friends and “chosen” family who loved and cared very much about him.
I know I will be waiting and looking for Phil for a long time to come when I am weeding in my garden or sitting on my porch.
Phil you will be greatly missed!
I hope you are teeing off in the great golf course in the sky!