Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Small Town

By Neil Jones

 One of our fellow classmates suggested that I write down a record of one of my experiences. It reflects what happens to one of us, who chose small town life.

 I am going to use the real first name of this fellow. It was Sam.
 Sam called me one evening some few weeks back and told me that he wanted to come see me. About 3 years ago, I had helped Sam get detoxed from a drug dependency. I had not seen him in the last year or so, and I had heard that he was "back on the street". Accordingly I was not surprised at the call and assumed that Sam needed help again, which I would have gladly given. I sent a taxi to his location at an outdoors phone station.

 When the taxi arrived about 20 minutes later, Sam was lying in the street with 2 bullet holes in his torso. He was dead. Sam was the victim of a drive-by shooting. This did not surprise me, since most people seek my help only when they are out of money. This is generally the same time that they are in trouble with "the drug man".

Brown Creek AME Zion Church
The police arrested three subjects, who were known to have been associated with Sam and have not yet gotten a confession. As is not unusual, Sam's mother asked me to speak at Sam's funeral. I have been asked
to do this over a dozen times. Down front in the Brown Creek AME Zion Church at the funeral sat the Preacher, the mother, the High Sheriff (Black Churches like calling the man the "High Sheriff"), and me. I talked about 15 minutes about Sam's struggle with life. I expressed appropriate outrage at the event. I recalled Sam's loyalty to his Little League team, which I had coached. I did go to the grave side,since my absence would have been unforgivable.

 The reason that I share this with you is that it is NOT unusual. Small time life permits me to be a part of people's lives. It also requires that I share in their tragedys. I chose Wadesboro, and not Charlotte or Washignton.

I am glad. I liked Sam.     -NJ