Grapevine Says Goodbye to "Toy Man"

Town's icon was killed last week

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCDFW.com
    Residents have begun a toy drive in memory of Leslie Scribner, who was fondly known as the "Toy Man."

    Grapevine and folks in northeast Tarrant County are saying goodbye to a man quietly enjoyed icon status for years.

    Leslie Scribner, 72, known as the “Toy Man,” was killed when he was hit by a car last week.

    Toy Man Leaves Lasting Impression

    [DFW] Toy Man Leaves Lasting Impression
    People called him the "toy man," a Grapevine native who lived to put a smile on a child's face. The community is now coming together to raise money for his funeral. (Published Friday, Jan 22, 2010)

    He was often seen walking through town, dragging a small toy truck behind him.

    “He was mentally delayed, mentally disabled, my understanding is clinically at about the 12-year-old level," said Shonda Shaefer, executive director of the GRACE nonprofit center.

    Scribner’s mental capacity was dwarfed by his capacity for giving. The trucks and toys he dragged everywhere were gifts he’d give to children and families that bothered to say hello.

    Young Timmy Turkett received a gift at a chance meeting with Scribner at Grapefest.

    “I just feel grateful,” said Turkett, who brought his family to Scribner’s wake along with toys for a donation that’s begun in his name.

    Many people fondly remembered the slender man with the toys. More than $1,000 has been donated to help pay for his funeral, and a Facebook page has been opened with pictures and songs as tributes to him, some from people regretting they never stopped to say hello when they saw him.

    “I think to some degree, there's some guilt associated with that,” Schaefer said.

    The result, according to Schaefer, is that more people have been contacting her nonprofit to ask if other people like Scribner need help.

    Scribner’s family said his grandfather was hit and killed by a car. And, at just 12 years old, Scribner watched his father die the same way.

    Scribner will be buried Saturday in Grapevine. His family said it’s nice to know that so many people loved him.