Thursday, May 3, 2012

A "B" to at least the 6th power

I had the immense pleasure of spending time yesterday with a 92 year old male, Mr. C..

His nickname has always been "Buddy Roll."

After serving in WWII, he returned home to Sanford, Florida.

Jobs were very scarce at the time but he persisted until he landed his first job working in a factory that made Brushes.

He married and raised a family and over the ensuing years became a successful Business man, acquired a lot of real estate, was a Builder (built homes, shopping centers and churches) and also enjoyed working as a Barber and school Bus-driver.

He has lived in the same home, that he built, for over 60 years.

All three children graduated from college.

His oldest child, his only son, is still a practicing dentist in Sanford, right next to the shopping plaza that Mr. C. has owned for many decades.

His daughter lives on the same street.

His wife died a few years ago.

He chuckled when I pointed out all the B's in his life ("Buddy," Brush maker, Business man, Builder, Barber, Bus driver).

He reminded me of some other things that didn't begin with a B; Sunday School teacher for 70 years, member of the church choir for the same amount of time, and a church Deacon for over 40 years.

He's pretty much a local legend.

He has a framed picture shaking hands with then Vice-President of the United States, Hubert Humphrey, during a visit to Sanford in the 1960's.

He also had a framed Proclamation from the City of Sanford naming a day in his honor, in 2009, for being a "living legacy of dedication, and an exemplary character as an entrepreneur and a lover of mankind."

He knows he has done "pretty darn well in life,"  especially growing up during a time of racial tensions and segregation, but he also wanted to remind me that he was "fortunate to live in the greatest county in the world."

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