"For several years we would see a young man collecting returnable cans and bottles for deposit," Mary wrote. "He collected during any type of weather. We would see him with his bike laden with plastic bags, each for a particular can he would reprieve from trash cans, dumpsters, etc. During the rain, he would wear a bright yellow slicker and yellow pants. Our grandchildren began to refer to him as 'Yellow Pants.' He would wear long gloves for digging into the deeper dumpsters. He had the system down. We would see him at concerts, parks, downtown, the waterfront, market — any location where he could collect a deposit.
"Having said all this, I had often wondered if others noticed him in the area, always on his bike, helmet, rear view mirror and bags galore on his bike. I think he may have often returned his catch to Orchard Market. When the grandchildren were here this summer, we went on many adventures in the area and one day Chloe said, 'Nonnie, I haven't seen Yellow Pants.' Any idea of whom I am referring to? For all we know, he may be living on his yacht in the Caribbean."
Spring Lake Township officials say the man's name is Larry, and he lives in Nunica. However, he is not exactly accessible.
Lukas Hill, community development director for Spring Lake Township, said he once had "a very brief conversation" with Larry.
"I complimented him on the fact that he always rode his bike around with a smile on his face," Hill said. "He seemed a bit disgruntled at the time, and stated he was unemployed and couldn’t afford a car anymore. That was about it."
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