NORTHPORT - Residents in the Village of Northport are coping with the loss of a homeless man who had become a big part of their community.People who knew Freddy Piercey say he may have not had a home, but his heart belonged to his hometown of Northport. He'd lived in the town ever since he was born in 1943, right over the Northport Sweet Shop. The man with the long, white beard was a regular at Gunther's Tap Room. The bartenders say he sat on the same stool for nearly 50 years, where he had a bird's-eye view of Main Street and could keep an eye on things. He would keep local children and residents entertained with his salty tales.

Friends say Piercey would sleep in barns or even on boats. He would paddle out to a small sailboat out of the village harbor to sleep, they say.

Piercey's body was discovered in Northport Harbor last Saturday. Henry, a youngster from Northport, summed up Piercey's death. "He was a really nice guy. We used to see him walk around town and I was really upset when he died. I feel like a part of Northport was lost when he died."