Our friend Roy Vaughn has taken a down turn. Roy is 70+ and lived a hard life.
Roy was a rookie policeman in Dallas in 1963. Historians should know he was on duty on November 22, 1963, that he helped corral three suspects that day in the railroad yard just behind the grassy knoll. They were released shortly as mere vagrants but they were men of squinted eyes and sharp replies, with just enough money in their pockets to insure they would be released.
Roy was on duty in the basement of the Dallas Jail the day Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald. He was detailed to watch the door Ruby supposedly entered. Roy would gladly tell you, forcefully, no one ever entered that door while he was on duty. Those were his ordesr and Roy followed his orders.
Roy and his partner were in a patrol car hit by a train later. One wonders how. Trains are fairly predictable. They run on tracks and have schedules and lights and bells.
Roy liked to point out he was not driving when they got hit by the train.
He nearly died then. I am not sure he was ever pain free after that night.
I think Roy knew me yesterday when I held his hand, standing, like a rueful oaf, next to his bed. He smiled as best he could. There is cancer in his pancreas, liver, stomach and lungs.
I know other people like that, too.
This just hurts because it is Roy in the hospice bed with the quiet family gathered all around him. He was always the life of the party. To be around him was a party. Now, he is about done here. Headed for a better place, he leaves the world a little emptier of good.