“Hey!” JC said “You dropped some trash. It’s tough enough keeping this park clean when guys like you just throw trash everywhere.” JC handed Grant the money that one of the young men dropped during their hasty get-away.
“It would insult you if I told you to keep it,” Grant said.
“I am a proud man,” JC said.
“And if I just threw it on the ground…” Grant said.
“I’d turn it in,” JC said.
“That’s what I thought,” Grant said.
“This is your money,” JC said. “I wouldn’t have worked any harder than those four thugs would have worked for it.”
“Why didn’t you go on to college?” Grant said. “As I recall everybody wanted you.”
“Do you remember ole Taz Martin?” JC said.
“Yeah,” Grant said. “Me and him cross city rivals. Both of us all-state. He went on to college. Did okay. Played three years pro. Want to know where he is now?”
“Where” Grant said.
JC pointed to a park bench about 50 yards away. “See that man laying there?”
“Yeah,” Grant said.
“That’s ole Taz Martin,” JC said. “I stop at McDonalds everyday and get a McMuffin for him. We are still rivals. He‘s trying to kill himself and I’m trying to keep him alive.”
“That’s a shame,” Grant said.
“You can do me favor,” JC said.
“After what you did for me,” Grant said, “of course I can.”
JC reached down in his pocket and handed Grant $5. “I’d like to go see my sister and her family this weekend, can you get something for Taz?”
“Yeah,” Grant said.
“I’m not doing this for no other reason than to help and old rival,” JC said. “Ole Taz played defense too. I just got a hand-off and he leveled me at top speed. I didn’t think I’d ever get up. Ole Taz gave me a hand up and asked me if I was okay.”
“I remember that,” Gant said. “Two plays later you ran the ball sixty yards for a touchdown.”
JC smiled broadly. “Ole Taz was hot on my trail, right behind me. I could hear him breathing and his feet pounding and when I scored he said, ‘I guess you okay.’”
“What a game!” Grant said.
“Sure was,” JC said. “I really got to get back to work. Will you take care of Taz for me. He’ll be around here about eight. And don‘t give him the money, buy him the food.”
“You don’t have to worry,” Grant said.
Grant hailed a cab back to the office.
On the ride back it suddenly came back to him; he was supposed to choose his magazine’s person of the year award. It was crazy, but he knew who the person of the year would be – JC Sizemore.