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Violence of Summer (13 June 2006 - 4:44 p.m.)

When I arrived at work this morning, I was hit with some pretty grim news. “Ess was killed last night.” Those words stunned me. I sat on a chair in the front office, and couldn’t move for a while. Finally, I regained my composure, and went up to the computer lab to start my day – a day that was very difficult to get through.

Ess graduated two years ago. In high school, he was a popular athlete, on the football field and the basketball court. Ess was enrolled as a full-time student in college. He was a father. His son is a little over a year old. Now his son is fatherless.

I knew Ess, but not that well. The person I DO know well is his girlfriend of two years. Cee is a beautiful young lady, inside and out. Cee and Ess went to the prom together last Friday, the same prom my daughter attended. Cee and I spent a lot of time talking during the days leading up to the big night. She was so excited. Now she is devastated. My heart aches for her.

Ess was stabbed to death by a 19-year-old male. The stabbing followed an earlier confrontation in the parking lot of a Home Depot. I don’t yet know what the confrontation was about, and I guess it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that a young man is dead, and a community is mourning its loss.

Another former student was visiting the school today, and he dropped by the computer lab to see me. Although he wasn’t there at the time of the murder, he did see Ess’s dead body sprawled on the street. This young man was shot a couple of years ago. The bullet was not intended for him. He told me he plans to move away from here in September because he wants to live. What a sobering thought.

He made another chilling statement before hugging me goodbye. He said, “It’s going to be a long, hot summer.”

Song of the Day: Violence of Summer by Duran Duran

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