“I grew up in Yazoo City and lived here all of my life. I have cut a lot of grass around here. There were ten kids in our family-eight girls and two boys. I was named after the guy in the history books, Booker T. Washington. I’m a junior. I can’t pronounce my middle name, so I just say T. My mom died when I was nine years old. I had a brother living in New York and a sister living in New Orleans. They both wanted me to live with them but my dad wouldn’t let me move away because I was little.
When I was about 12 years old, my cousin told me not to get on his bike because the brakes were bad. I was a hard-headed kid. I got on anyway and rode down the hill. The breaks went out, and I was hit by a drunk driver coming up the hill. That knocked me high into the air. I woke up in the hospital. It happened on a Thursday night. The doctor said it damaged the part of my brain that controls my speech and my mood. Every now and then I stutter a little bit or get kind of jittery and nervous. That is from the accident. I learned to just live with it.
Two years ago, I was driving my truck and Johnny, the owner of Preaux’s restaurant in Yazoo City, pulled me over. He had been looking for me. His security guard had died and he offered me the job. The rest is history. I take care of people and make sure people get in and out okay. I like making them feel good. The people here are good to me and help me out. Give a little and it comes back to you. We take care of each other.”