By Thursday, news that Richard “Channon” Myers had been murdered on the mean streets of Modesto had swept through the local homeless community. Known for his long “trains” of scavenged treasures — some would say “junk” — Channon was beloved among the homeless for his good nature.
“Channon was a beautiful person,” said Kim, a woman who frequents Graceada and Enslen Parks, two places Channon often pulled in to rest and catch up on the news. “He was kind to everyone.”
“I was the one who taught him canning fifteen years ago,” said his longtime friend Carl Wolden, who is now sheltered.
“The first time we went out, we started at 5pm at a store on McHenry, where I always started. We looked in the dumpster and found 15 bags of marijuana.”
It may have been that auspicious start that led Channon to his decade-and-a-half routine of scouring dumpsters along Modesto’s McHenry Avenue and other well-travelled routes throughout town.
Wiry-strong from his daily habit of pulling other people’s trash, Channon was occasionally somber and thoughtful, but most often buoyant and good-humored.
According to sketchy reports, Channon was killed by a 24-year-old man who walked up and shot him and another homeless man. The other man survived. Channon did not.
The prevailing rumor among the homeless is that there had been an earlier confrontation during which Channon fought off an assault by the alleged assailant, a much younger man.
Wolden doesn’t doubt that 50-year-old Channon was capable of fending off an attack by someone half his age.
“Somebody might have tried to take his stuff,” said Wolden. “You don’t do that to a homeless person. Channon was very mellow, but he never backed down from anyone. I found that out when I first met him over fifteen years ago. We had a little disagreement and we both decided we were better off as friends than enemies.”
Most of the time, Channon’s hauls were transported on a long chain of most anything with wheels. His trains were made up of little red wagons, wheel chairs, baby strollers, dogcarts, and any other found object that might roll over pitted streets and bumpy sidewalks. Sometimes the load was so heavy and cumbersome that he had to tie a rope to the front end and pull the pile while bent over and tugging backwards.
Even when he found safe resting places at Beard Brook Village and the Modesto Outdoor Emergency Shelter (MOES) before they were closed, Channon made his daily rounds, though both places added another couple of miles to his route.
When people commented on the size of an especially big load, Channon would often respond, “Yeah, I’m runnin’ a little heavy today.”
He seldom kept anything very long, trading or giving away most of his treasures. One of his all-time favorite finds was an army surplus cot he acquired while camping at MOES. It was almost new and became a welcome bed.
Carl Wolden is convinced that rumors about Channon giving an unprovoked assailant a beating that brought on a senseless killing are true.
“I knew him,” he said, “he wouldn’t back down from anyone. He stood up for all homeless people who get taken advantage of. He went out like a rock star.”
Myers was only 50. I’m wondering where his family was; where did he come from? Great to have more history.
My name is Rebecca Myers I’m his daughter. My father has always been a free spirit. He enjoyed being outdoors unfortunately now someone took him from me. He was an extraordinary man. And I loved him very very much
I am so sorry about your father. He was a awesome man. I have known him for years and never had any reason not to respect him. Again I’m sorry about your loss and know that there are SEVERAL people who are here for u if u need anything.
Leslie Rivera says
I’m so sorry for your loss I hope the person responsible for his death is caught and brought to justice 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼
Gregory Cunha says
Hi Rebecca. I live in the apartments behind Pep boys. I used to save my recyclables for your dad; he was always nice and polite to me. I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers go out to you and your family. God bless
Scott Foster says
Rebbecca, I remember your Dad when we were kids. My grandpa Henry Foster and your great Grandpa Doug were brothers. We live in SC and when we would go to Kingsport Tn. to visit all the family we’d all hang out together. The last time I seen him we were teenagers. I always thought he was cool. So sorry for your loss!!!! Praying for your family.
Maralee Carter says
Carol. Thank you for the kindness you gave Channon. I’m his Aunt Maralee. He was a kind and little boy.
Holly hicks says
Channon was a good friend of mine I’m devastated to learn that the man that was shot was him he was always so kind and quick to put a smile on ur face when u were down he will be forever missed
Hi I’m his daughter Rebecca Myers I’m named after his mama. Thank you for your kind words. I am really glad to know he had good friends.
Eric Caine says
So nice to hear from you Rebecca. Channon brightened many lives, including mine. So sorry for your loss. It is my loss also, and a loss for many others. We will carry his bright spirit with us as we go forward.
I have met him and give him some money to food to eat at McDonald’s
Rebecca your dad was a sweet loving man I seen him the morning before he died and just loaned him 30 dollars I will forever remember how happy he was too get that