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I know, I've been away from here for quite awhile and I apologize. My job keeps me very busy, working 11 to 12 hours a day, Monday thru Friday. It leaves me little time for anything except resting up, to do it all over again.
With today being Father's Day, I've been kind of somber, thinking about something that today should be said.
My job calls for me to deliver auto parts throughout the city, Kansas City, via a semi. Needless to say, I wind up in a few neighborhoods that are not ideal for the kind of work I do. As I mentioned in a previous blog, a fellow co worker was murdered in cold blood, in one of these 'hoods. This particular store, where he was gunned down, was the domain of a manager named Lonnie. He and I made friends from the very beginning, 15 years ago. If anyone ever had my "back", it's this man.
I had told him of my mother having an inoperable cancer and he told me that he would say a prayer for her. Now, many people say this all the time and some actually carry it out. Lonnie definitely did. And he ALWAYS asked how she was doing. His concern was always genuine and real.
I cannot stop for lunch due to the size of my truck. Plain and simple, you just can't pull into a drive thru with an 18 wheeler. A self made chef in the area of this particular store, cooks up a ton of food and boxes it up in styrofoam containers and sells it all over the neighborhood, to people working too hard to take off for lunch, from their jobs. His meatloaf is pure heaven. Lonnie knowing this said that he would grab me some, whenever Jeff has any to sell. One day, I had just finished delivering Lonnie's freight and was climbing into the cab. On the seat was a container. Inside, my heavenly lunch, meatloaf, scalloped potatoes, mustard greens, corn, a HUGE chunk of cornbread and for desert........chocolate cake with chocolate icing. OMG!!!! Pure delight.
Going back into the store, I asked Lonnie about it and how much I owed him. Laughing, he replied," Nothing. Enjoy it my brother." He not only did this without being asked, he did it several more times after. And never, NEVER asking for me to repay him. He did take the money but very reluctantly. Not knowing how to repay his kindness, I finally found out that he loved old school R&B music. So, I burnt several CD's for him. He was extremely happy with these discs. So much so, he was always listening to them, when I arrived at the store.
When the young man that worked for him was gunned down last year, we talked about the pure evil and senselessness of this act. (<Hopefully, my grammar won't offend anyone) Lonnie told me that no one should ever be gunned down, unarmed, and unprovoked, like this kid had been. I totally agreed, then and now. He then stated that when he goes, he wanted to die in his bed. My God, if only we could just pass away peacefully in our own bed. I'm sure several other people have said the same thing. But, we unfortunately, don't have that option. The good Lord makes that decision for us.
On May 30, 2010, my co-worker and good friend, got his wish. He passed away in his home, in his bed. I was told that he had a seizure which had complications of some sort. No matter, he passed away in the comfort of his own home.
His funeral was Friday, June 4, 2010. The wake was a few hours beforehand. I was told that there was literally, over 1000 people there, to pay their respects. I was unable to attend, because it was held during work hours and my supervisor wouldn't give me the time off. "He wasn't any relation, so you can't have the time to go to the funeral," my supervisor stated. Well Bob, Lonnie may have been born to another family and he and I aren't of the same race, but...........we are all brothers. Lonnie was loved by everyone, friend and family. He will be sorely missed by all of those that knew him, me included. His daughter was to married on the 12th of June, which made this whole thing even worse. Well, she DID get married on that day, because she knew that Lonnie would've wanted it that way.
Now I know, there are some that maybe saying that this forum is no place for this kind of writing, but it is my blog and something that means a lot to me. I know that there are many on here that can tell similiar stories and that's the other point I wanted to make.Lonnie was a super friend and family man. A fantastic father and was known to adopt all the neighborhood kids, as his own. Loved by more people than can be imagined. There isn't enough room on here to include all of the things that made up our friendship and I wouldn't want to bore you with all of them. But I wanted to share this with all of you. I have dedicated today in his memory. Lonnie is.........IS the picture of what a father figure was modeled after. My feelings are simple. Idols and icons are made and they come and go. But friendship, now that is for ever.
To all of you out there reading this, Happy Father's Day, from my household to yours. And possible, create special memories in those around you, every day.
R.I.P my friend Lonnie Richardson, Jr. Jan 15, 1958 - May 30, 2010
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