Clowning as we usually were, the clean version goes like this: “Homer, I’m gonna put a can of whoop--- on you.”

His response — in his own unique way of responding, a tug at the bow tie, an adjustment of the neck and very pronounced and stressed syllables — was, “Well, Ray-mond, I’ll just have to put a lllll-id on it.”

That was Homer Adkins.

I’ve been proud plenty of times during a journalistic career that started part-time while my full-time job was that of a employee of the Brookshire’s meat market on 15th Street. Nothing’s touched my heart more than a 1A story on Homer, the face of Brookshire’s in Corsicana.

Sure, the story was super. Janet Jacobs has a way with her writing. But I think was more pleased with the fact Homer was getting his due.

A lot of times 1A obituaries, if you will, are reserved for dignitaries ... former mayors, longtime pastors, the bank president. Homer, of course, was none of the above.

But, as Craig McCracken so accurately described, Homer was a true gentlemen, a man who diligently cared for one thing more than any other: His customers. Homer sacked groceries in Corsicana for Brookshire’s as long as I have been alive.

Daily Sun columnist and classmate Chuck Williams and I worked together for many years, with Homer, and agree that any customer service and sheer public relation skills we have now are due to our time with Brookshire’s. Customer service was stressed more than profits, certainly a fact worthy of a “Ripley’s Believe or Not” episode.

Homer filled the bill as a great instructor. People should be able to learn by osmosis, and Homer led by example.

Aside from his work attributes, which were impeccable, Homer had a heart of gold, and didn’t mind dishing out some comic relief, or being a role player in some. He could take a joke, often made one, and could laugh with the best of them.

Homer could also be a little hard-headed, something a cousin who called the paper Thursday was quick to agree with. Anger, however, just didn’t seem to have a place in his daily schedule.

The team of Chuck and myself covered Tiger football games for a number of years, and both being somewhat obsessive-compulsive, we would not turn left to visit a restaurant or store. It slowed our progress of getting to our destination. For the same reason, my interaction with Homer slowed over the years because Brookshire’s is out of my way home.

That said, I lament the fact I cannot remember the last time we spoke, and wish I could here him say, just one more time, “Ah, Ray-mond!” as I run away after untying his apron.

No, Homer did not lead an army, run a city or find a cure for cancer. But he earned his place on the front page of the local newspaper.

Homer Adkins was a true local treasure, a man who touched a lot of lives and warmed a lot of hearts, and I am proud to count him among my friends, and among the very few who I admire most in this world.

Rest well little buddy. You’ve earned every minute of your vacation in heaven.

***

Just in case you missed it, Corsicana’s own Nancy Roberts was on Dallas’ KZPS 92.5FM Friday morning. It just so happens that Roberts’ son, Bo Roberts, is one half of the very popular show Bo and Jim Mornings (5:30 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday!).

Nancy called to wish her good son a happy birthday. But boy, did she take a dig at him that should leave him with some ribbing for a few days.

The listening audience was informed of how pointed Bo’s head was at birth.

“His head was so pointed,” Nancy said, “that I could have dipped him in ink and signed a contract.”

Or something like that. While driving down Seventh, I wasn’t taking notes, but you get the point. ... Uh, sorry for the pun, Bo.

And sorry to the driver beside me. Nancy’s quip had me laughing so hard I almost crossed into the other lane!

—————

Raymond Linex II is editor of the Daily Sun. His column appears Saturdays. He may be contacted via e-mail at rlinex@corsicanadailysun.com.

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