I had this scheduled as a separate bit about a favorite teacher wearing my Johngy's Beat shirt. Unfortunately, it now is an RIP piece about that teacher.
Roscoe Lindsey was my senior year English teacher at Mt. Carmel High School. It's not nostalgia which makes me think fondly of Mr. Lindsey. I considered him a favorite back in the day.
Obviously, he was an African American, but color was never an issue with him. He saw us all as one and we never saw color with him either. He was just a man who was always there for us.
English class was fun (or as fun as it could be) with him. He taught, without nagging. I still remember one of his favorite quotes. “Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative” was a quote by W.S. Gilbert. Why I remember a quote from 35 years ago speaks of the impact that he had.
Several years ago, thanks to the wonderful world of Facebook, I reconnected with Roscoe. Well, actually, I connected with Rocco. I forget the exact path, but at some point, he started becoming known as "Rocco." I think the story was that there was a misunderstanding of his name and it just stuck. That would be typical of him. It didn't matter. Rocco or Roscoe or Mr. Lindsay, he was just a good-hearted man.
We exchanged messages on occasion. Sometimes I would toss a grammar question his way. Sometimes he would ask me about former students. Unfortunately, a few times we shared the passing of former students.
A few weeks ago, one of his relatives posted that he had a heart attack and had passed. At 63, Roscoe was gone. I'll miss our exchanges and I'll miss just knowing that this good man was walking among us.
RIP Roscoe "Rocco" Lindsey. You left quite a legacy and made an impact. You will be missed.
Roscoe Lindsey on the East coast-November 2012.