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'Lawnmower Man' Gets New Memorial—With a Note

Carlos Ramirez was beloved in his community
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2019 1:30 PM CST

(Newser) – The first memorial honoring Carlos Ramirez was outright stolen. Now a second has appeared for the New Mexico homeless man with a note to prospective thieves: "Please don't take this mower," it says, per KRQE. "Like the first one it has been disabled and is no good." For over 50 years, Ramirez sat outside a church in Roswell and made his money mowing lawns, hence his nickname—"Lawnmower Man"—and the "ghost lawnmower" memorials. Many were said to be angered when the first one was stolen on Thursday. "Who would do this to him?" resident Nicole Vargas asked KRQE this week. "Why would you disrespect him like that?"

"I'm really upset at the fact it's not here any longer," said another. "It wasn't for anyone's taking." Last month, there was a groundswell of support after Ramirez suffered third-degree burns from a propane stove he used to keep warm and cook food, per KOB. They raised funds for his medical bills, but Ramirez died soon after without any family in the US. Now, at least, he has a new memorial—donor unknown. "He's actually affected a lot of us, knowing that he's been through the situation he's been in," said resident Alondra Lara. "It's really broken our hearts." Residents called him "a gem of Roswell" who never asked for money outside of his work mowing lawns. The community plans to bury him in Roswell. (Read more homeless stories.)

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