Today is June 5, 2021, which would have been the 76th birthday of Mister Earl “Unit 2” Smith. But sadly he passed away on December 21, 2011. Even though it’s been almost ten years since his passing, I still think of him daily.
This gentleman faithfully worked as one of the custodians at the high school of which I attended. He was previously employed as a cook on several boats.
I first met him on January 6, 2001, and I initially thought he was from the Caribbean, because of his voice.
Mister Earl was kind, humble, hard-working and a man of the great Christian faith. He also had a wonderful sense of humor and was an excellent culinary artist.
Many times I would hang out with him before or between classes and he would tell me stories share his faith with me.
I cannot begin to tell you, the reader, about the impact that this gentleman had on my life. He may have only been employed as a custodian at my high school, but he probably taught me many more important life lessons than most of my teachers.
All I can say is that I wish the world would have had more people like him and that he was taken too soon.
One thing I must point out because I truly admire him for this is that he would randomly drop Gospel Tracts disguised as $100 bills all around the campus in hopes that more at my high school would somehow come to know Christ. He ran the risk of being fired for this but did it anyway. For that alone, I am sure he is casting a huge crown at Jesus’ Feet in Glory.
He could never pronounce my name correctly, but instead affectionately referred to me as “Aaron Mongo.”
Sometimes when I couldn’t understand him, I would ask him to pretend he is preaching then I could hear him clear as day.
I knew he looked out for me because I was a troubled teenager.
He also used to laugh when he caught me looking at women and girls.
Christmas of 2011 was a terrible Christmas for me because not only did I lose Mister Earl, but I also lost one of my favorite cousins a day after Mister Earl passed. All I can say is that it was God and family who brought me through that terrible time.
I could kick myself for not attending his funeral but he forever has a residence in my memory of all that he taught me and all the times he made me laugh.
To say I miss him is a serious understatement.
I know I will see him again in Glory and I’ll likely get an earful from him on that day.
I am not the only one who thought so highly of Mister Earl. I think everyone else in the whole school would all have wonderful things to say about him.
I thank God for sending him into my life and it was an honor to be able to work with him and hang out with him when I could.