The Scrap Man drove up here a couple of years ago and offered to clean out the sheds and haul off junk and scrap metal. In time, it was decided that he not only would clean out the old barn but tear it down, selling the good wide boards inside to a man who is renovating an old house. Some of the outside was rotten and the sills were eaten by termites to mere shells, but the inner planks were good where shelters had preserved them. Salvaging every piece of wood that was usable, he even straightened the ancient nails, saving them in a bucket.
While Bennie was doing odd jobs and picking up seasonal work, he was attending college. It was not an easy path. About halfway through, his wife was in a tragic accident that left her unable to work and traumatized the children. The whole family picked up pecans to sell in the fall. Bennie attributes his work ethic to his grandmother with whom he came to live when he was a teenager to get out of the city and away from gangs.
Today he brought us an invitation to his college commencement at Albany State University on May first. Bennie is a candidate for a Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education with concentrations in Social Studies/Language Arts. He completed his practice teaching and has been working as a substitute teacher. Goal met.
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