Update

It has been a while since I have written in this blog. From doing my doctorate to volunteering to my own mental maintenance, it has been difficult to keep up with updating this page. But this morning I have too. since my last entry, there has been a loss of life that has affected me greatly. These people were intricate parts of my life since I have lived here in Knoxville. The first is Miss Beverly Joyce Walter or as I loved to call her “Mrs. Hobbit”. She and her partner, Steve Bell, Mr. Hobbit, were always making me smile on my worst days whether they knew it or not. She past 10/28/2019. The second is a man I knew in high school and played football with his 2 older brothers. His name is Santiago Munoz. I had the pleasure of speaking to him at length 2 months before he passed. We talked about life, addiction, and recovery. I told him about my mission to have someplace for veterans to go when they complete a drug and alcohol abuse program. He said these words to me, “I am proud of you brother. You know better than anyone where we came from and what we deal with.” When I hung up the phone with him I cried. Next is Tony Anthony Blakely. He was always a character. I was fortunate to know this man. He was extremely funny and always challenged me, literally. Since we both were almost the same height, he found every opportunity to tell me that he could take me if my arms were not so big. I would laugh and ask him how he was doing. He died on March 9, 2020. Frederick “Big Bossman” Kennedy. This man lived in my apartment complex above me. He was not a Veteran, but he affected my life. He was an amputee and was going through several therapeutic appointments to help him cope with the new prosthetic leg. Our running joke was the way he parked on a slant in the parking spaces. H would always say, ” I’ll get it right next time big bruh”. He passed on August 12, 2020. Lastly, Scott Jenkins. I have known Scott for the 8 years I have been in Knoxville. He was a troubled soul yet he found time to laugh and joke. He graduated from the Steps House Program and was ready to move into his own apartment, but the apartment was not going to be ready for 10-14 days. Scott decided that he was going to sleep in his car, in the parking lot of my apartment complex. At the same time, I was supposed to be leaving to be heading to North Carolina to see my sister. Suffice to say I did not make that trip. I turned around at the Rutledge Pike exit and came back to my apartment. Scott was in his vehicle asleep. I knocked on the window and startled him. I said,’ C’mon brother. You’re not sleeping in your car. He stayed with me until his apartment was ready. He died on 9/12/2020. I will keep pressing on in the memory of these souls that have enriched my life. R.I.P.

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