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Unclaimed remains tell a story: The friend

The cremains of David Meyers, who died in 2008, as photographed on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015.
The cremains of David Meyers, who died in 2008, as photographed on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. dearley@islandpacket.com
David "Fish Man" Myers

 

Everybody in town called him Fish Man. But nobody can remember why.

David Myers was a boisterous mechanic with a drug problem, according to those who knew him. He lived with his mother in Grays Hill for years. After she died, he was left homeless.

Fish Man was well-known around the little community as a skilled handyman who would happily fix a car whether people could pay him or not.

He would leave his tools out in the open, knowing nobody would take them, said his friend Pastor Norman Jenkins of the Grays Hill Full Gospel Deliverance Church.

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"He always said nobody could steal his tools because they knew they'd need him to fix their car one day," Jenkins said. "There wasn't anything Fish Man couldn't fix. Whatever problem you had he'd say, 'Got it, boss!'"

People in Grays Hill often paid Fish Man back with a hot meal at their home or a night in a warm bed.

But other nights he was left out in the cold.

One evening, Fish Man tapped on the door of a Grays Hill woman. He asked if he could sleep on her doorstep, Jenkins said.

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The woman wouldn't have it and invited him inside for something to eat.

Fish Man didn't look good. He was breathing hard and seemed exhausted.

The woman told him to sleep in her bed. But he declined, curling up on the bedroom floor instead.

When she checked on him in the morning, she realized he had died in the night.

In his death announcement, he was listed as David Myers. It was a name Pastor Jenkins had never even heard.

So Jenkins decided to hold a memorial service to honor Fish Man at the church.

It was short notice, but about 60 people came and paid their respects to their friend -- and occasional savior in a crisis.

His sister who lived in Augusta came and listened to hours of stories about the ways Fish Man had helped others out, Jenkins said. When a vehicle broke down in Grays Hill, somehow it always seemed Fish Man would come strolling down the street with his tools, ready to save the day

"Everyone thought they had the best Fish Man story and then they'd hear what somebody else had to say and would just say, 'Oh man, I'm going to miss Fish," Jenkins said.

To this day people still mention the smiling mechanic when car problems happen: "Boy, I sure could use Fish Man right now," Jenkins said.

"To me he will always be a hero among heroes," he said. "I know he had problems, but he was always, always kind."

Meyer's sister was his closest living relative. She opted not to claim the body of her troubled brother.

So since his 2008 death, Fish Man's ashes have remained on the coroner's shelf in a box marked "David Myers."

They sit in that place where the people he knew can never visit, labeled with a name most have never heard.

Unclaimed remains tell a story:

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