Sunday, June 03, 2007
My fears made true...
Today I went to the center where we pick up our papers for my paper route and put together my inserts (everything but the front page part). It takes a long time to do, so instead of coming in at 2 am on Sunday mornings and being there all night, they open the center in the afternoons on Sat. so we can get them done ahead of time. I went in today, and was bull-shitting around with my friends. Wilson is this awesome guy who is next to me, and our stations are crammed together in the corner, which sucks. Today we had to maneuver around each other to get our work done. However, it was all good, b/c we have a good time joking around and talking smack. Today we were plotting for everyone to put in their notice at the same time as a kind of April Fool's joke to stick it to our boss b/c he's a jerk. Wilson is one of the main reasons I want to go in on Saturdays, b/c he's so much fun. Oh, and he usually gives me Snicker bars for "energy"! We worked together at Pizza Hut, too, and he was always giving me a hard time about driving too fast, and I was always calling him an old man. I always looked up to him b/c he was working three jobs after having retired from his career w/the government so he could pay for his kids to go to college (he had two in, and one on the way). I'm not sure when the man ever slept!

Well, if he was saving it up, he can now sleep peacefully to make up for lost time. I'm sick at the thought that I will never, ever see Wilson again. I will never joke with him, and he will never butt-bump me as we work our way around each other as we put our papers together.

Last night, the closing driver at Pizza Hut didn't show up for work. Wilson, ever the super-sweet guy, gladly offered to stay and close and help out. He was always doing that. I always knew that if I didn't feel well, Wilson would stay for me. This time, he was sent to Greenhurst, a neighborhood no one really worried about, except for the bad tips. I know I was never nervous when I went there at night. It's also the neighborhood Wilson lived in, and delivered his papers in. The man was Greenhurst for goodness sakes! Someone called in a bogus order shortly before closing, and Wilson was sent out to deliver it.

Supposedly, he hadn't even gotten out of the car to take the pizzas to the door. He was shot point-blank in the head inside his car. He was robbed, and what's so pathetic is that he probably didn't even have fifty dollars on him. I can't imagine what it must have been like for him. I keep thinking that he must have said, "Now, hey there, Buddy (he said that a lot)..." in a joking way, trying to lighten the situation. He was funny like that, and no one could ever dislike him. He was my buddy, my friend. I liked talking to him b/c it was always fun and interesting. Never a dull moment with Wilson.

This wonderful man has left behind wonderful and educated grown children, and a loving wife. What an awful person who could have been so callous as to take the life of such a hard-working, sweet man. I just can't fathom it.

I miss Wilson already. I can't imagine what it will be like w/o him next to me at the paper. I don't want to know what it will be like. I want him to be there next to me. I want to keep seeing him everyday. I want to joke about the bad notes we get in our paychecks and hear stories of his children and life. I feel selfish right now b/c I feel like Wilson was taken from me. I can't begin to imagine how his family must feel. What a very, very tragic loss.
posted by Christi at 6:50 AM | Permalink |


  • At 9:20 AM, Blogger aka_Meritt

    Wow... I am teary eyed from reading this. And angry too. I'm sorry you lost a friend and I'm sorry the world lost a pretty great guy.

  • At 10:17 AM, Blogger gina

    OMG!! Christi!! how terrible!! i bet he just loved you so much..

    ok, you seriously have to quit pizza hut. that shit is scary. that sounds callous in itself, but ... ack!!! now i am terrified for you..

  • At 10:40 AM, Blogger gypsy

    oh my god! wtf is wrong with this world!?

  • At 10:44 AM, Blogger Christi

    I quit a while back...perhaps I forgot to mention that.

  • At 7:02 PM, Blogger Julia

    He did like you very much, Christi. Wilson was the one who organized a collection to get Christi a gift after Cole was born. When you left the building he would chuckle at whatever joke you had made and say that he liked you or that you're a good person.

  • At 4:05 PM, Blogger karla

    Oh my goodness! That is so very sad and tragic. :(

  • At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous

    SUMMERVILLE — Wilson James' shift as a Pizza Hut delivery driver should have been winding down at 10:20 p.m. Saturday when he made a stop at a tidy brick house in the Greenhurst subdivision.

    He wasn't that far from his home on Nancy Lane, just on the other side of Miles Jamison Road. He parked behind a car in the driveway of 108 Beatrice Lane, stepped out of his green station wagon and was met by an armed man.

    Inside the Beatrice Lane house, where no one had ordered pizza, Betty and Douglas Treadway heard a noise above the blare of the television. Betty Treadway didn't recognize it, but her husband, who had been a security officer for the State Ports Authority, immediately knew it was a gunshot.

    James, 54, was shot in the arm, but the bullet passed into his chest. He died on the lawn of the Treadway home. As quickly as Douglas Treadway made it to

    driveway with the lights on, it was over.

    There were no witnesses to what happened, but the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office said James was shot during an attempted armed robbery. There were no suspects as of Monday.

    "My dad wasn't afraid of anything, and nobody was going to get anything from him," James' daughter, Alena, said outside the family's house Monday. "Whoever did this, probably a dumb teenager, didn't have excellent parents like we do."

    James, retired from 25 years of service in the Navy, worked three jobs. He delivered for Pizza Hut five days a week. On an average Saturday, he left the house at 6:30 p.m. for the delivery job and would come home between 10 p.m. and a little after midnight.

    He'd be back up at 2 a.m. to deliver newspapers in the Greenhurst area for The Post and Courier, a task his four children sometimes helped with when they were younger. Then he'd head back home for another couple hours of sleep before he tended to his vending machine business, Wilson James Enterprise.

    With that kind of schedule, James still found time to build a playhouse for his children.

    He helped son Vincent build a sidewalk at Alston Middle School for his Eagle Scout project.

    Wilson James and his wife, Geraldine, were to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary June 11.
    James' family said he was a humorous and engaging speaker and was active in Toastmasters. Sundays after Mass at St. John the Beloved Catholic Church always meant a family lunch out for Chinese food.

    James and his wife, Geraldine, were to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary June 11. They had planned to visit Alena, 21, at Winthrop University in Rock Hill. Like Vincent, 19, who attends Clemson University, Alena is a double major. Daughter Julie, 23, just finished a real estate course. Just last week, James taught his youngest daughter, Andrea, 16, how to parallel park in preparation for her driver's exam.

    Alena said the family sometimes worried about their father because two of his jobs took him out in the community late at night or very early in the morning.

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics puts delivery drivers in the category of driver/sales workers. In 2005, the last year for which statistics are available, there were 13 homicides in that work group.

    Driving a taxi, which remains one of the nation's most hazardous jobs, listed 25 homicides in 2005. That also includes chauffeurs.

    A report published in 2000 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that robberies accounted for the greatest number of work-related homicides. At higher risk were workers who engage in cash transactions and work alone or in small numbers.

    A corporate spokesman for Pizza Hut would not comment Monday on James' death or specifics of employee safety, but said the company takes the issue very seriously.

    Arming delivery drivers isn't a good option, said Jim Pohle, national president of the American Union of Pizza Delivery Drivers. Pohle, a driver for more than 20 years who has been robbed three times, said arming drivers might result in more homicides.