Born and raised in the Deep South and having to raise himself, the streets became his classroom and people of the streets were his teachers. His life was a rags to riches back to rags story. Only he through all of his hardships could maintain his charisma.
I never had the pleasure of meeting him because he died before I had the pleasure of marrying his grandson. From the wonderful stories that I’ve heard over the years I feel as though he has been here with me all along. From what I’ve been told his childhood was very difficult, he often hustled on the streets to survive. When he was a young teen, he took on many odd jobs; he even tap-danced for those who were casually passing by. I can picture him tossing salt or sand on the ground and shuffling his feet back and forth creating a rhythmic sound, as those who looked on removed pieces of silver from their pockets and purses, flipping them into the air and landing in his cap. This activity only lasted for a short time until he found some other enticing business venture.
I over heard that his best asset was that he was a naturally charming individual, and this characteristic allowed him to mingle with influential people in his city. During this time he had family members who started businesses throughout the Chicago area, and as destiny would have it, he opened up a service station of his own. I remember seeing a picture of him and his sons standing outside of his establishment. He had a six foot one inch, thick NFL frame, and dark brown skin. His pearly white teeth were smiling for the camera. He wore a Stetson hat, with a black leather jacket, and hanging from his waist was a holster fitted with a revolver. He looked like Doc Holiday guarding the town saloon and standing in front of his prize horse, a 1977 Cadillac Fleetwood.
His business became very prosperous and as a result, he was able to afford the finer things in life. I remember seeing another photo of him dressed from head to toe in...
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