Though the Pink Umbrella Man social experiment is now a thing of the past, Steffen is still alive, still in Santa Cruz, still walking every day. His daily route is different — he’s a regular on the Wharf and West Cliff Drive now. He’s less pink than he used to be. His strides are normal, and he’s quite pleased to engage in conversation.
For a guy whose sole aim was only to spread a little happiness, there’s not a ton of happiness in Robert Steffen’s story. Once a promising electrical engineer, he has struggled with mental illness including crippling depression for years. He’s been homeless for extended periods twice. While doing the Pink Umbrella Man, he was subject to all kinds of pranks, hostility, verbal abuse, even physical assault. For as many people who find him endearing, others find threatening, or a just an easy target for harassment.
The Pink Umbrella Man took his slow walk down Pacific every single day over the course of several years until one day he vanished, never to return. The fact he was unvarying in his routine and kept his mouth shut made him a kind of walking Rorschach test. The chatter on the street often told you less about Robert Steffen — the man under all that pink — than it did about those talking about him. To some, he was a sunny delight. To others, a tolerable annoyance. To still others, a creepy nutjob.
SANTA CRUZ — A decade ago, there was no more popular topic of conversation in downtown Santa Cruz than the Pink Umbrella Man. Around the time that all of those “Keep Santa Cruz Weird” bumper stickers starting showing up, a middle-aged man appeared on Pacific Avenue in heavy make-up, dressed in a flowery, luridly pink get-up like a Florida vacationer in a David Lynch movie.
Let the wind not blow you away with this pink umbrela parasol! And why not make your rainy days bright and shiny with this attractive pink umbrella. It’s got a sturdy handle and wide brim to shield you against the fluvial rains and likewise, from the heat of the sun when summer sets in.
You don’t need to fumble with the button to open this umbrella because with just one click of a button, voila! you’re good to go. So you see this is a no fuss umbrella and the best part is that the color is so girly! Now you pink fanatics out there, wouldn’t you want to have your own pink umbrella like this?
|List Price:||$29.99 USD|