NJ’s quirkiest movie ticket-taker is homeless — but a loving community is on it
YouTube video by MorristownGreen.com, from 2013
New Jersey's quirkiest, kookiest and most-loved movie ticket-taker is homeless — but hopefully, not for long.
Eric "Fluffy" Glover Sr. has been a staple of the movie theater in Morristown's headquarters plaza for three decades, with small gaps. The theater itself has changed hands a few times. It's been rebranded and remodeled. But Fluffy remains a constant.
And it's easy to see why. The first time Fluffy takes your ticket, it's hard not to wonder what's going on. His hands gesticulate wildly. He smiles from ear to ear while spitting out a litany of oddball noises — something between beat-boxing and Michael Winslow's schtick from the Police Academy movies.
It confuses some; it charms far more. Glover, who has also worked as a bouncer at local bars, is a part of Morristown. He's as much of a landmark as the Green in the center of town.
And that may be why there's been such a tremendous outpouring of support after a fundraiser announced he'd been homeless for 10 months.
In just three days, the GoFundMe account had collected more then $26,000 from more than 700 people eager to get Glover off the streets.
"Eric has made us all smile and is a happy man — we need to help him!" Jackie Braun wrote. "A local guy who is reaching out for assistance — so many lives he has touched, lets make a difference for Eric."
Friends and relatives posting to the page said Glover has been underemployed for years. And family hardship made it difficult to keep his situation stable.
"Eric is my cousin," a poster under the name Sandra Lynn wrote. "He is the extraordinary person who discovered my sister, with whom he was living, unresponsive and literally saved her life. Unfortunately due to her illness, our family home had to be sold. Despite his numerous efforts, he was/is way underemployed and unable to secure housing. Sad, simple truth. There's nothing more admirable than what I see his friends and benevolent people doing on this page. May God bless each of you.
In a video shot by the fundraiser's organizer, Lidia Udrija, Glover first publicly announces he's been homeless for 10 months:
He said he stayed with Morristown-based Homeless Solutions from August through November of last year. Since then, he's been in his car most nights. Lows Monday are expected to be about 13 degrees in Morristown.
"I'm still currently looking for a place to stay right now," he said. "It really sucks to be homeless."
He continued: "I want to not only thank you all for helping me, I want to thank God, you know, for this opportunity ... he's granted me for me to get this much help from everybody."
Glover first became part of the theater staff in 1987, when it was an AMC. When it closed in 2012, then as a Clearview, he was left without a job, as recounted by NJ.com at the time. AMC took over the space again in 2013, and brought him back on a part-time basis, but he hasn't worked full-time since.
"I'm going to continue keeping people happy when it comes to the movie theater. I'm going to keep doing my sounds, as long as I can stay employed there," Glover says in the recent video.
It's not the first time the community has rallied to help Glover out. Nearly 12,000 people have joined a Facebook page to support him — originally, to get him re-employed by AMC when it took over the theater, and now to ask the company to employee him full-time.
In 2011, fans bandied together to throw him a giant party and buy him a car for his 50th birthday. The celebration was caught on video by MorristownGreen.com at the time.
"Eric is a real person with a real life situation that anyone could find themselves in at some point in life. Let us not judge him. He is a humble soul that always has a positive attitude regardless of his status," Sereka Monet wrote on the new fundraiser page. "I have known him for many years and he always makes time for people and put a smile on my son's face when we go to the movies or see him in town, which is priceless. Let's pray for him and encourage him with kind words."
Note: The NJ.com story cited above was written by Louis C. Hochman, also the author of this story, during his previous employment with that organization.