The Norman Transcript


September 25, 2012

Anatomy of an outrage about man’s death



I don’t know where Mike was going the moment he was killed. He might have been going back to “base camp” or he might have been going to Food and Shelter for lunch, served at 11 a.m. Word has it that he was walking along the tracks heading north when a northbound train came up behind him and side-swiped him. The locomotive missed him, but he was pulled under the second car. I feel he was so preoccupied with battling the inner voices he would verbally argue with that he disregarded the reality of the situation he was in.

The memorial service for Mike was at 3 p.m. Sept. 5 at 324 W. Main St. in Norman in an alternate chapel owned or rented by the First Baptist Church, with Joey, a community minister, officiating the services.

If one looked around the room, one would notice the audience was sitting according to their respective clicks or peer groups. Mike’s relatives manned the front row, while almost all of Food and Shelter’s employees formed a cluster at the center of the west section. To everyone’s surprise, two police officers showed up at the end of Mike’s service.

Rumor has it that these were the officers who were instrumental in Mike’s removal from Food and Shelter. All potential remedies to Mike’s situation were there, and all had failed. The relatives who had abandoned him, Food and Shelter who had failed to find a permanent place for him after two years and the police who had removed him from Food and Shelter. Probably because of the nature of his injuries, I heard Mike was cremated like a dog that was put to sleep.

Yet, in contrast to all this, someone took the pillow Mike slept on below the James Garner statue and placed it on the long wooden bench on the north side of Food and Shelter.

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