Aspiring to be a role model

Published 8:52 am Friday, July 23, 2010

To the Editor:

After reading the article about Larry Rose (“Great call, Rose inducted into Sports Hall of Fame,” July 9), it made me think back to the times when I was growing up and my father was my role model.

With the help of my grandmother, he raised three children. He retired from Union Camp after 42 years of service.

During the summer, when I had permission, I would go to the swimming pool, and either the Martin Luther King Recreation Center on Oak Street or the Hayden Gym. I name them because during those days you had to have a destination when you left home; you just didn’t roam the streets.

There were other good men that you could call role models that were looking out for the youth that came to these places. Men like Larry Rose, Herman Charity, Waverly Lawrence, Perky Parker, Raymond Parker, Robert Sandridge and Littleton Parker.

At the time, they were the referees, lifeguards and coaches. Now thinking back, they were much more than that. They touched a lot of young lives who looked up to them in a positive way.

I am now a man of 51 years, and I still have the utmost respect for these men. Without them and men like my father, a lot of us would not be the men we are today.

Along with the parents, we need more men like them to help guide the youth of today away from the trouble that plagues our streets.

So, I take my hat off to them and say thank you. I hope that I can have an impact on some young person’s life and be a positive role model. Maybe one day, one of them might look back over their life and think how I influence them in a positive way.

Ray Ruffin