OPINION COLUMNS

Remaining thankful on dark days

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, May 10, 2017
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Last week I left an interview in Boyd with only one thing on my mind: stopping for a bottled water before returning to the office.

But as I turned onto Texas 114, I was greeted by a wall of smoke. I feared the entire town of Boyd was on fire, but instead of finding a towering inferno, it turned out to be a food trailer on fire on the side of the road.

I walked up to survey the scene and take photos. Standing there I saw a gentleman filming the fire on his phone. He was panicked, walking back and forth through the parking lot. Soon a woman showed up, and I could hear him wailing over the roar of the fire, “What about the baby?”

Richard Greene

Richard Greene

First, I feared the worst – that a child was injured in the fire, but I soon realized he was referring to an unborn baby.

After a few minutes, I spoke with the gentleman, Sammy Fox, who told me how he started the food trailer just six months before and was in town for the week. With a child on the way, he was considering using Boyd as a hub for his growing business.

The distressed Fox, while describing his plight, bragged on the first responders who came to his aid.

I returned to the office to post a story and did a little research on social media about Fox, also known as the Singing Chef, and found he has quite the following in Temple.

Once I got a story posted, readers started to comment. In the afternoon, one reader explained how Fox called a local pizzeria and ordered several pizzas for the first responders. The story was verified by Boyd Police Chief Dwayne Taylor, adding, “[Fox] seemed like a good guy that unfortunately this happened to.”

Later I was reconnected with Fox and asked him about the gesture. He said he just wanted to express gratitude for the men that went out of their way to help him in a time of need.

His explanation took me back to a life lesson passed on by my father when I was just a teen.

A sudden, overnight storm sunk our little bass boat at the dock below our house at Lake Kiowa. We started the process of trying to get the boat out with little success.

Fortunately, some maintenance workers in the community stopped and without any hesitation, plunged into the water. In less than hour, they had the boat floating again. Dad offered them money, but they refused, saying it was part of the job.

When they left, dad ordered me to the truck and off we went to town to buy enough chicken and sides to feed an army.

When we delivered it to the maintenance barn, the smiles and gratitude expressed was priceless. My father’s message was to always reward the kindness and thoughtfulness of others, even on your worst days. In the end, it’ll at least make you feel better.

It’s a lesson of which Fox reminded us on the day he lost his livelihood; there’s plenty to be thankful for, including the goodwill of others.

Richard Greene is the Messenger’s sports editor. A GoFundme account for the Singing Chef has been established to help Fox rebuild.

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