Calling Mr. White a mentor doesn't seem like enough. He was the kind man across the street that worked in his garage and allowed me as a young boy to spend the days with him. He endured endless questions, a terrible car washing assistant and a grass cutting helper that surely doubled the time it would have taken for him to do it alone. He never complained. Instead he would often end the day by taking me to Knight's Ice cream.
As I got a little older he and Mrs. White would be the first to see my new shoes when I came home from the store. I was always so proud to show them how much faster I could run because of those shoes. I will never forget their enthusiasm for such a small thing.
As time passed and I came and went Mr. White never failed to be a neighborhood fixture out in his front yard. He moved a little slower but he never stopped being one of the kindest men I have ever met. Always quick with a compliment and a smile.
Thank you Mr. White for being my father when mine couldn't be, my teacher, my disciplinarian and my dear friend.
Now God will get to hear all of those Spanish jokes that I never understood!