The following is a lightly edited letter from Sumner McClain about Isaac Crawford, a Spare Change News vendor who recently passed away.
I met Isaac Crawford several years ago in Porter Square where he was selling Spare Change News, always with a smile. He introduced himself as “Ike,” and I shared my name, Sumner, with him. Over many years he never forgot my name. Early in our acquaintance, I shared with him President Eisenhower’s campaign slogan, “I like Ike,” and every time we saw each other he would say my name and I would respond with “I like Ike”!
Usually when we met, I would play a song on my harmonica for him and he would laugh in appreciation. We would part leaving each other feeling a little better than before.
I never learned anything personal about “Ike” but I always knew he was a special person. He was an angel in disguise, sent to us to bring cheer and to provide a role model of dedication as a salesman and a friend.
Recently, I learned the meaning of Ike’s name. His name Isaac means “He who laughs,” and it is reminiscent of the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac, who, when their faith was tested, learned that “there is nothing too hard for God.” Also, Isaac was very faithful to his wife Rebecca, and to the family he loved dearly. Ike has truly lived up to his name!
We will always remember Ike for his love and laughter!
Thanks to God and Issac’s family for sharing “Ike” with us. He will always remain in our hearts and be remembered for his dedication and the way he treated people with dignity and respect promoting the Spare Change Stories!
I am sure he is now in heaven praising God’s “Good News” just as wonderfully as he did on earth!