CHP sits down with City Council candidate Robert Steffen to chat about booze, drugs, and shedding his former Pink Umbrella Man past.
Robert Steffen, formerly known as “The Pink Umbrella Man,” is running for Santa Cruz City Council for the race in November 2008. City on a Hill Press urges voters to take him seriously.
You’d hardly know him.
He wears a tan floppy hat, thin wire glasses, an ordinary grey sweatshirt with an Easter yellow collar peeking though, faded jeans, and dirty grey shoes. The pink plastic flowers adorning his feet are the only visible clues to his identity.
The hunt for Robert Steffen, one of Pacific Avenue’s unique and regular characters, was no simple task. It took three days and the entrusting of a personal phone number with a homeless man. But when Steffen finally returned the call, there was certain excitement and urgency in his voice.
More commonly known as “The Pink Umbrella Man” or simply “The Pink Man,” Steffen has abandoned his family life as a NASA electrical engineer only to wind up a homeless Santa Cruzan spending his days shuffling endlessly around, and left, ultimately, alone.