I want to blog about persons in my life who I want to pay tribute to. I want to pay homage to these persons because they have been a positive influence in my own growth and development and somehow they have helped me get where I am today. Some of these people I know very well and love them. Others, I know about and they have also had an impact on my life. Enjoy!
My Brother: Gunnery Sgt. Roy Lee Payne, Jr. (1949 – 1980)
Roy was the only brother for many years among five sisters. I am sure that brothers everywhere who only have sisters for siblings can relate to this situation. He was extremely intelligent and excelled at most everything he did. In fact, in 1969 just after graduating from high school he became a manager at the then Bell Telephone Company. That was a rarity for African-Americans during that time. He was an electronics expert, too.
Roy was a boy, teen and man like any other. It’s just that as he matured he knew the direction he wanted to go in. When I was in college, and he was still in the Marines, he would send a $10.00 allotment check to me and my sister. Now $10.00 may not be a lot today, but in 1973 it bought a lot of treats for us. All of us were proud of him. He lavished my mother and father with gifts while he was stationed in Korea at that time.
He married in 1972 and he and his wife had two children. He remained in the Marines and was raising his family while in the service. Tragic was his end: He was taking a friend to work one regular day and his car was hit by a man driving drunk. My brother was killed instantly. In fact everyone in both cars including the drunk driver was killed that day, except for one person.
I tell that story not to sadden anyone, but rather to encourage everyone that family and friends are precious and should never be taken for granted. He was generous and doting over his family. Let’s do the same for our family and friends.
Cute story about my brother: He loved to eat scrambled eggs, toast and whatever meat he wanted, ham, bacon, etc. He would make his food and have it on a big plate. He had 4 slices of toast, about 6 scrambled eggs and his meat of choice. He’d also have a soda or something to drink. Roy would come into the living room and sit down, put that plate of his on the arm of the chair and just seconds later we would all hear him yell is dismay. The plate would fall over with all of that delicious food! unashamed, he would pick it all up, put it back in the plate and eat it all! Now,, if that happened only once, it would be an oops story, but it happened 9 out of 10 times, and each time, after he yelled, he would pick all of his food off the floor and eat it. HERE’S LOOKING AT YOU, ROY!