Saturday, August 11, 2012


My dad's grocery store was in very poor mostly African-American (Colored in those days) community. Only a few homes had plumbing and electricity. It was poorer that poor. Troy Gilmore, an old 'colored' man used to haul trash with a mule and wagon. On Sunday I'd see Mr Troy with the same mule hitched to a buggy as he went to worship.

The community changed over ti...
me. Mr Troy still hauled trash but he had a truck. When he wasn't working he drove a big shiny Chrysler New Yorker. He also owned a row of those old houses on Frederick Ave. The old guy that hauled the garbage was now the landlord.

By then, I had a convenience store at Southern Ave and Gillespie. Mr Troy was a several times a day regular. He once said to me "Boy, do you know why I trade here? Because your daddy treated me like a man when colored people weren't treated like men. I see a lot of him in you and that's why I come here."

As he stepped out of the door he stuck his head back in and said "and I done past by three stores to get here."

So much about Mr Troy's words, ethics and loyalty have been great life lessons for me. A smelly old man hauling garbage and pig slop may be the pillar of the community some day and people never forget how you treat them.

I love people like Mr Troy Gilmore. God bless his soul.

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