Tribute to the Man I Knew
Officer Roy Curtis Marcum #463
How do you say goodbye to someone your not ready to say goodbye to? Who is gone before your even given a chance to say goodbye?
From the first time I met Roy some 7 years ago, he could always put a smile on any ones face. I had just started with Animal Control. My first impression of Roy was, what a easy going laid back guy! Smiling, laughing and teasing other co-workers. He just radiated calmness and warmth. And his favorite word was F***.
In my first few weeks of Training, I had the pleasure of being supervised by Roy. His preferred beat was "deep South". He drove most of the time, but had me drive some during the second half of the shift. When talking, Roy had a way of making everyone feel at ease. He didn't over react, didn't raise his voice. He had a way of getting through to people without outright threats, being a bully, or overstepping his authority. He could have someone start out very agitated and by the end of the conversation they were smiling and shaking his hand even if he was giving them a citation. That was Roy.
One of my favorite calls with Roy was during this training time. We had been chasing this dog all over town. Dog had no street smarts and would have been hit if left to wander. driving and all our efforts to catch this dog were of no use, except the last resort, tranq gun. While I drove, Roy loaded the tranq gun. Then he had me get right up alongside the running dog. Roy leaned over me from the passenger seat with the tranq gun out the window. He directed me to drive faster or slower as he took his shot. Got it! And GO GO GO! As the dog accelerated and turned a corner. We sped after the dog and through the streets until it jumped a short little white fence into what turned out to be it's yard. Roy jumped out and went after the dog. Just as the dog was collapsing under the influence of the tranq, amazingly, the owner finally came out as we were putting the dog on our truck. The guy was yelling and fuming and Roy stopped him in his tracks with that trademark smile of his and his way with words. We drove away with the guy's dog and the guy understanding that he could get his dog back as soon as the tranq wore off.
That was Roy's way. Leave them with a smile or at least calm and understanding. The few times I saw Roy in a bad mood was always related to a case of animal cruelty he was working. And he was tenacious about getting results. Roy had the biggest heart for animals. And animals responded to him. It make me laugh when he used his high pitched baby voice to talk to animals to calm them. It worked and they responded. Even the ones that were so fearful they were defensive, Roy could calm them. I never saw him be heavy handed with an animal. He did everything with a calm demeanor and animals felt this. It was amazing to work with Roy.
Roy was a friend, a brother in uniform and a mentor. Roy and I were a lot alike so it was easy to learn from him. It was easy to talk to him. We had a lot in common. We were about the same age, we had each a son and a daughter about the same age, teenagers! We had both been in the Air Force about the same time, and both had second marriages to our soul mates. We talked at length about all these things.
We shared tales of our military experiences, funny things that happened and reminding each other at times, how our current careers are not much different that what we learned in the service.
We shared our kids antics. Roy and I both have oldest sons and younger daughters. We agreed that girls are much harder to raise then the boys. We shared parenting advise with each other. We shared funny stories about our kids. And reveled in their accomplishments. Roy loved his kids to the ends of the earth. He loved to talk about them and share what we was doing with them. He frequently brought his daughter along on ride alongs with him when allowed to. He enjoyed spending the time with her. We talked about the progress he and his son were at with building his son a truck. No matter what he was so proud of his kids.
Roy's wife is an amazing woman on her own. All you had to do was ask Roy. They fit well together, as long as Roy knew she was Boss. He would talk about their little getaways together, not revealing details other than having a wonderful time together. Seeing them together you knew there was so much love between the two of them. They had fun together, they supported each other, and they loved their family.
When you work in such an intense career as we have you bond with the people you work with, they become family. You spend as much time if not more with them than your own family. You find that even in your off time, you are friends, because due to our work you "get" each other and understand things that people not in our field wouldn't understand. Their family becomes your family. You share their ups and downs, and your there for each other and their families.
Roy was an integral part of our lives. He is gone and that is very hard to fathom. Roy leaves a huge hole in our universe. And there are the little things that will be gone forever. Roy walking in with his boot laces untied and half his shirt hanging out before our shift began. Roy's infectious laugh. Yelling at Roy for his truck being messy and him just laughing at you. 472 saying every morning at 8am "Where's Roy?" to our Boss at the assignment board, when he and everyone else knew Roy came in at 9am. Hollering at Roy for hogging all the Stand-by shifts you wanted. And him smiling and laughing at you. Roy calling you on a "blond moment" teasing you but helping make you laugh at yourself. And many many other little things that will be missing. Reminding us of him. Reminding me of him.
Roy would be chuckling right now, smiling that teasing big brother smile.
"It's all good."