Every town has their own personalities. Those folks who are a little different. In my town it was a man everyone called Glove Man. I remember him often coming in to the place I worked (A fast food restaurant during my high school years). He was harmless but he did scare me a bit. I never knew his name, or what happened to him. I found this obit/write up of him today….Rest in peace James.
07/24/1995 “Glove Man” Dies; by Robert Medley
NORMAN – On the streets and sidewalks of Campus Corner, James Pitman became known as “The Glove Man” to those who crossed his path. During the past two decades he might have been seen wearing black gloves as he directed traffic in the street. He might have been seen arguing with a utility pole or hurling an angry fist at the sky. But Pitman had no arrest record and, while he may have startled some, he had no record of violence or assault against anyone, said police Lt. Dean Vassilakos. Pitman, 59, died in his south Norman apartment, 1427 S Jenkins Ave., Apt. G, on or around July 11, a police report states. Investigators found Pitman dead in his bathroom after a Department of Mental Health caseworker reported he had not been seen in a few days, the report states. The body was found July 13 and officials have ruled he died of a heart attack. While Pitman was best known as a Campus Corner character who often wore two black gloves, he may have suffered from schizophrenia, said his father, Earnest H. Pitman, of Norman. James Pitman was at one time a good electrician who worked in both Oklahoma City and Norman, Earnest Pitman said. His sister, Dorothy Rames, said she has had trouble dealing with the death. “He was a smart and brilliant man,” she said. James Pitman graduated from Manual Training High School at New York City and attended the University of Oklahoma briefly in the 1960s, his father said. James Pitman served in the United States Navy 1955 to 1959 on a destroyer escort ship in the Atlantic Ocean and the Virgin Islands, his father said. He was discharged before the Vietnam War. Earnest Pitman believes his son was deeply affected in November 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. James Pitman, a Catholic, identified with Kennedy and admired the president, his father said.
Kennedy also served in the Navy.
James Pitman never acted the same after Kennedy’s death, and Earnest Pitman believes the trauma triggered a latent mental illness. Born in Chicago, James Pitman spent time in what is now Griffin Memorial Hospital, but doctors only recently told Earnest Pitman his son suffered from schizophrenia, he said. The mental illness and James Pitman’s notoriety as the Glove Man has been slightly painful for his surviving siblings to handle, Earnest Pitman said. Earnest Pitman said his wife, Ella Mae Pitman, died three months ago and one of his sons had to be hospitalized briefly after arriving in Norman for a private funeral for James Pitman. “We have had some bad luck in the family,” Earnest Pitman said. But he said his son’s life was no embarrassment. “He was a town character, I realize,” Earnest Pitman said. “But I considered him a good electrician. He had not worked in years. “James Pitman was perhaps the most well-known of eccentric Norman street personalities, who have included “Crazy Craig” and a woman who used to sit naked in a Campus Corner Laundromat while her clothes washed. A local band recently named themselves Glove Man. Police said James Pitman sometimes swung his electrical tools in the air, frightening a few people. Not long ago, Vassilakos said he saw Pitman walking along a Norman street, but he was not wearing any gloves.