James Bronson, a retired black barber, was an Adams Morgan fixture for more than three decades. John O'Leary was 25 years younger, a white sound engineer who'd bought his townhouse just as the neighborhood was beginning to gentrify. When Mr. Bronson -- and he is always Mr. Bronson -- lost his home in 1996 and had nowhere to go, O'Leary offered to take him in rent-free.
Nadine Epstein with Mr. Bronson at a dental appointment. Mr. Bronson is now undergoing rehabilitation at the Washington Home. Epstein's longtime partner, John O'Leary, took in Mr. Bronson 15 years ago. Carol Guzy/The Washington Post Buy Photo