Longtime vendor Adrian “A.D.” Aytch passed away Aug. 31. Many people remember him for his willingness to help others, positive personality, strong work ethic and little dog, Roscoe, always in tow.
Rob T., who grew up with Aytch, remained a good friend of his and is also a Real Change vendor, said Aytch was always quick to smile and a great storyteller, and that if you knew Aytch at all, you knew he was a person of good character.
Aytch had been an Army medic and became a Real Change vendor in 2005. In 2007, he was able to find stable housing after living outside for a decade. For Aytch — and many vendors working at Real Change — employment gave him a sense of daily purpose and the self-esteem he needed to want more out of life.
Aytch sold 9,439 newspapers since his 2005 beginning and made deep connections with his customer base during those years. Being able to say hello to people who recognized him in his community was the stabilizing factor Aytch hadn’t found before.
“He really appreciated Real Change,” Real Change Vendor Program Director Rebecca Marriott said. “He was just somebody who truly took Real Change seriously and understood the quality of the paper and the product that he was selling. He would help out new vendors; he would give advice. If he overheard a conversation where he could add something helpful, he would.”
Marriott has many fond memories of Aytch, but his thoughtfulness for others and selflessness for people and furry friends stands out the most.
“He would come in with Roscoe, and he would run down how Roscoe’s day was going more than how his day was going. He was very convinced Roscoe had a lot of moods and attitudes,” Marriott said. “And he did!”
Aytch was in foster care until he aged out of the system when he turned 18. His friends became his family when his birth family could not be there, and Aytch felt very deeply about the people in his life.
Aytch’s close friends and all Real Change staff members will deeply miss him.
Roscoe is in good hands, being cared for by Aytch’s friend and Real Change Vendor James Wade.
Samira George covers real people living real lives in the Puget Sound. Follow her on Twitter @samirakgeorge.
Read more of the Sept. 22-28, 2021 issue.