Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dog Shit Man

I've been overwhelmed from friends asking me to do a post on the famous Southeast character Dog Shit Man. I feel a little awkward about this because although I did help start his nick name Dog Shit Man, he is a real person with a history. In fact, his real name is Watford Reed, he's 1000 years old, his dog is 900 years old, and for years and years he was the religious editor for The Oregonian newspaper. This information I got from a mutual friend Roger. Roger just cracks up when DSM walks by the bar and someone yells out "There's Dog Shit Man everyone!" The entire bar looks and gets excited. Roger just about spits his beer out from laughter! Roger also thinks it's interesting how Watford's last name is Reed and he went to the college called Reed! When I Googled DSM I found a few things like this.

I'm sure many of you must be "man, why is he called DSM?" Well, all great nick names, like all great urban legends and all great rumors, usually do have a grain of truth in them. DSM is so called because as he walks by the bar late at night he is walking his dog and carries a tremendous snow shovel. They travel about 1 mph because they are both so ancient. They barely move! The shovel is fucking massive! On two seperate occasions bartenders at work have seen DSM with a loaded shovel of dog shit make a special delivery into the blue mail box at the corner! Imagine the poor post office guy when he opens the box! Does he do it because he could give a shit, or does he do it because he thinks the eagle on the side means 'garbage'? That is why he is called Dog Shit Man.

On a related note, I considered for awhile posting about the characters that inhabit my immediate neighborhood in St. Johns, but decided not to go to elaborate because I believe at least one of them may have issues beyond their control. Let me just list them by nickname: Slow Walker, Garage Watcher, Sweat Pants Beer Man, Broken Down Van Guy and Speedy Cane. I love the colorful characters that make up the heart and soul of St. Johns! Except Garage watcher because he's so wierd and scares me a bit.


Where I Lived and What I Lived For said...

Oh, man! I can't wait to hear about Sweat Pants Beer Man. Although, I'm afraid there may be parallels to my own life that I'm not quite ready to deal with. And for one thing, these aren't sweat pants, they're "action pants."

dickbird said...

We are lucky to live in a world with so many unique personalities and lifestyles. It gives us the opportunity to look at other peoples lives and think "maybe I do sort of have my shit together after all."

The Power of Crystals said...

So true. In fact, that may be the ultimate benefit of our surrounds, a kind of esteem booster.

David F. Ashton said...

To me, a gentleman and a friend ...
Back when became editor of East County News, all of the part-time reporters quit in protest. The former editor let them write whatever they wanted -- I wanted to make it into a NEWSpaper.

One writer stayed on, Watford Reed; a former Oregon Journal senior editor and later Oregonian reporter. He understood what I was trying to do and gave me his full support -- and shared his knowledge and wisdom with me.

After I left ECN several years later, Watford kept writing for me at, although his health was clearly declining.

My dear old friend hasn't been doing so well since the first of the year. "Congestive heart failure" he said.

The last couple of months, he wasn't able to drive to cover stories; I picked him up, bought his lunch and he turned in every-smaller stories. The stories he turned in last month were only a couple of lines long -- but I'd taken good notes and was able to write them. He still got credit in the by-line.

I still paid him full rate; I knew he hadn't been able to work his vending route and was short on cash.

Monday, I called and left a message about picking him up for the Gateway Area Business Association meeting on Thursday, but never got a reply. "Unusual," I thought, but he realized he might be not feeling well.

When I called today, his daughter answered. She said Watford died on Sunday.

"One the last things that made him smile was when he got your check a few days ago," she said.

"He said he knew he didn't go a very good job. He also told me that the last time you were together, you put your arm around him and told him, 'You know, Watford, I'll never give up on you. Never.' It may not have been much to you, but treating him like a valuable partner, until the end, meant so much to him."

I'm glad I follow the desire to act on "positive impulses". So often, I'm learning, we don't get a second chance.

David F. Ashton

mishmash said...

Crazy! DSM is the guy who hit me and then ran me over in his van while I was riding my bike in the middle of the day downtown 6 month before he died! He told the police he was 85! I feel kinda famous. Now I'm gonna tell people I got ran over by Dog Shit Man!