Monday, April 19, 2010

Passing the Hat for Roger

The hat made it's way from table to table in the break area, half filled ( or half empty? ) with dollar bills. It was payday and several whispered remarks echoed the sentiment, "I wish I had more but I haven't cashed my check yet, will you be doing this again next week?" I put my dollar in the hat as my thoughts drifted back to the many days Roger and I had worked together.

He enjoyed working, and his attitude was encouraging to all of those around him. Rare was the day that I didn't see him in the break area or the parking lot with his hands full of cd's, t-shirts or something to sell. The man was forever busy, and looking to make a dollar. And he was honest.

They found Roger face down in a ditch last week, with a bullet in the back of his head. The police have found the van he used to shuttle workers from Jackson County to the Pasta Plant were he had worked until he started his own shuttle company. No one heard the shot, no one in the neighborhood knew Roger. Those who live in that Housing Project are tight lipped.

He was a Family Man, Christian, Conservative and black. I didn't capitalize the word black, because I don't think Roger would have liked that. Roger was a Business Man that just happened to be born black in a white community.

There's a big hole where Roger used to stand. No one is sure how this happened ( yet ), but we all know there will be hell to pay when the truth does come out ( and it will ). It's going to be a long hot summer here. The heat is on.

It's Monday, and I've had time to think about all of this. I'll be talking to Marge, she was the last passenger Roger dropped off, and one of the last to speak with him. She will have the hat, and I'll have a few more dollars to send to his family. She may also have some news.

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