AUSTIN (KXAN) - Writing messages for each memory, about 20 supporters gatheredwith pen in hand, hoping to let Albert “Leslie”Cochran, 58, know what he means to them.
“He's definitely made me smile a few times,” saidTera Bock, “so there's no reason why I shouldn't be here.
The vigil outside of the emergency entrance to BrackenridgeMedical Center showed the group holding “Leslie” signsin support of the recovery of Austin’s famous cross-dressing,homeless man. Erin Pate first saw him 20 years ago.
“I remember the first time I came to Austin, driving down6th St.,” Pate recalled. “This is back in the day whenhe used to have his big cardboard display out with his cart and thethong.”
Since then, she runs into Leslie regularly, as he often stays ata home around the corner from where she and her four kids live.
“I think it's very important for my kids to understandthat homeless people are people, too,” she said. “Theyneed support when they're sick.”
“He apparently had a fall of some kind and injured hisbrain,” said Alice Cochran Masterson, Leslie’s sister.“They had to remove the right lobe of his brain. He's up andwalking.”
Masterson spoke to Austin News on the phone from Florida,expressing her gratitude for the family her brother has in Austin,after Brackenridge doctors upgraded his condition to fair onTuesday.
“The hospital believes that it wouldn't be safe for him tolive back on the street,” she said. “That's where he'shappy. That’s where he wants to be.”
For now, Pate and her kids have only one hope.
Her daughter, Sidney, 8, said, “(It’s) that he getsbetter.”
Pate said, “I've known him throughout the years, andwatched him keep Austin weird.”
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