Willie Ellis (born c.1954) is a much-loved salesman who sets up his wares at the Lake Merritt Pergola. People who regularly walk that section of the lake know him, if not by name, by reputation. In 2016, he disappeared and it was feared he had died. Small shrine was erected where he normally worked. 1 It turned out he was assaulted and robbed in July, and has been recovering at Fairmont Hospital in San Leandro. 2

Links and References

  1. Absence of beloved Lake Merritt mystery man prompts unusual outpouring East Bay Times September 2, 2016
  2. Mystery solved, Lake Merritt salesman not dead after all, just recovering from brutal assault East Bay Times September 6, 2016