The hermit of the Wolverhampton Ring Road
November 21, 2007 5:05 AM   Subscribe

Joseph Stawinoga, tramp, hermit, holy man, Facebook celebrity and (alleged) former member of the SS, has died, aged 86.
posted by low_horrible_immoral (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
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I read about this shortly after he died and I was pretty curious about the holy man angle.
posted by srboisvert at 5:23 AM on November 21, 2007

Unkempt and dirty, with long matted hair and a 2ft straggly, yellowish beard...

That describes pretty much everyone from Wolverhampton. Especially the ladies.
posted by MrMustard at 5:24 AM on November 21, 2007

Stawinoga was said to have taken to locking up his wife when he went to work. She would cry and scream until one day, several years later, a neighbour smashed down the door to let her out. She fled, presumably to Austria.

A role model for all Facebook stalkers.
posted by DU at 5:35 AM on November 21, 2007

For those of us who truly loved him, he will be sorely missed. RIP, Fred, aka Holy Man
posted by Postroad at 6:00 AM on November 21, 2007

Interesting. Did the council allow him to camp on the road because he already had a reputation as a respected holy man? Or did his extraordinary ability to get support from the council convince people he had special holy powers?
posted by Phanx at 6:02 AM on November 21, 2007

posted by miss lynnster at 6:54 AM on November 21, 2007

posted by dead_ at 7:32 AM on November 21, 2007

It was probably the matted hair and the long beard that convinced people that he was a holy man. It's hard these days to get recognized as a holy man if you shave and don't smell like a pig's arse, believe me.
posted by ob at 7:42 AM on November 21, 2007

His tent was removed by the council at the request of West Midlands Police, who were concerned that the area would become a tourist attraction.

Pretty short sighted, considering the millions that many towns pay to create tourist attractions.
posted by eye of newt at 8:20 AM on November 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

And lets face it, Wolverhampton needs a tourist attraction more than just about anywhere else in the country.
posted by salmacis at 3:27 AM on November 22, 2007

I've been to Wolverhampton to watch a stage of the tour of Britain. The cycling was interesting.
posted by srboisvert at 4:28 AM on November 23, 2007

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