He sat in front of me in 8th grade English class. It seemed like he was always wearing those old style cowboy shirts - the ones with pearl snaps instead of buttons, big lapels and fancy Western yoke along the collar bones. Exactly the kind of shirt you’d expect kids to wear in the 70’s. Except this was the mid 80’s and the other kids in school just had to point that out.
Kids are mean, and these kids were brutal. If there was a way to rank schools on cruelty factors - THAT school would have won hands down. They teased him about his hair, his freckles, his shirts; they called him Howdy Doody or Roy Rogers.
One day, he turned around out of the blue and said “You know, it doesn’t really bother me when they call me Roy Rogers, Actually, I kinda like it. I love that show!” I’d never seen the show, but it was settled - from that day on I’d call him Roy when we walked into class, he’d smile, and we’d have a quick laugh.
In a sea...