This is actually a photo of a "business card" in my roladex on my desk. Its been there ........... for years. I cannot take this card out and throw it away, although the card is considered "no longer any good" today. You see "slammer" died.
I didn't know him "well" but I knew him "often" I would visit this thrift store frequently as they had the best prices in town and the NICEST guy running it ever. He always recognized me, always greeted me and sometimes would say something , that was "extra" that always made my day.
Once I took a girl friend in there with me and he asked if we were sisters, we giggled and told him "no just great friends" and he smiled and said that we were "lucky" to have each other.
He had a dog. The dog was very large and was there at the store with him everytime I saw him. Slammer. That was what he said his name was ............. when he handed me his card. I saved the card, it was like saving his smile........... not that I ever intended on calling the number......... but I saved the card and put it in my roladex.
Once I had on this bracelet.............when I visited the store......... I wear a lot of bracelets and anyone that knows me can attest to that, but this bracelet had words on it............ he asked me what the bracelet said that day............I showed it to him.............. I had gotten it FREE or almost free from an online deal at CHICOS
He looked very carefully at my bracelet and read each word, turning my wrist slowly and taking each word in........ "spirit" "kindness" "growth" were just a few........... he said quietly "all of the important things."
One day my bracelet started to get tarnished and I was cleaning it. there were some "rough" spots that didn't look as if they would get better and I took the bracelet off and put it away. You see this is a pewter / not a silver bracelet and I had done nothing to preserve it (if there is even a way) but wore it constantly and in the shower and weather and such. I thought, "I am going to give this bracelet to Slammer the next time I see him."
I decided to call the number and ask if he was working one day........ to bring him the bracelet. When I called.............the one time I dialed the number I was told.............. Slammer passed away last week. There was no explanation of how or why, just he was GONE.
I went to the ROC website to research, to find out what happened. There were no details, except that he had left behind two sons and they were taking a collection for them. There was also a link to hear Slammer sing........... and some photos too. they have since changed the website and i don't see the pictures or hear the voice any more, but they are always in my mind. I wonder about his dog. His sons are still involved in the ROC , I see one of them plays soccer for them , JAROD. I don't know him, but I heard that the ROC was left everything of Slammer's and it was his will that they stay involved in the ROC.
Everyone has a story, and Slammer's story is one that I don't know. He did touch my life, but he probably did not know it. His gentle spirit, his way of finding something nice to say or something that made me feel "special" was always what brought me back to the store. I don't go there as often now. They still have the same great deals and nice people that work there, but not "slammer."
I don't know what happened to my original bracelet that was tarnished and worn, but I have ordered myself a new one, from EBAY......with those words............ I wish I had known Slammer better, I wish I knew his story, I wish I knew his sons but ...........I guess I know all that I am supposed to know ............"all the important things."