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Marsha Lee

In memory of Tommy

Tommy was happiest behind a pair of clippers. He’d found his niche, applying himself at McCoy Barber College more than he had in 12 years of formal, private school education. He loved the art and theory of cutting hair and was on track to fulfill his dream of owning his own shops, Quikkuts. His slogan was “$100 haircut for $7.” Tommy wanted to cut presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s hair. He’d only voted once during his short lifetime, in the Primary Election 2008. Who do you think he voted for?

The clippers also represent the disagreement we had about his choice of trade. Considering the money that had been spent on private school tuition, I felt he was not making a career choice that would afford him a comfortable life. He persisted, with his dad’s assistance.

The day Tommy was shot, he had been cutting friends’ hair. Later that evening, he stopped at a store, where he was shot and killed. Like too many others, the case is still unsolved. It gives me comfort that Tommy was doing what he wanted and working towards his goal. We buried him in his barber’s cape.

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