Friday, June 2, 2017

Meet Nathaniel Kendrick, crossing guard

It happened three years ago, in December, 2014, but it's worth remembering. After retiring as a city employee in Dallas, Texas, Nathaniel Kendrick was hired by Lakewood Elementary School as a crossing guard. Twice a day for ten years, he owned the school crosswalk. He learned the name of every student he met, because he loves them all. "It's wonderful," he said. "I enjoy it." All the students call him Mr. Kent.

Mr. Kent says his mother told him to "take good care of your wife," and that's what he was doing when she went to the hospital. Her care was expensive, and he fell behind on his car payments. His car was repossessed, but Mr. Kent still showed up for work each day, because he cherishes his children. A parent group called Friends of Lakewood heard about his plight, and in one week they raised enough money to buy him a new Mercury sedan. How should they present it to him? Before his shift one day, they parked it directly on the school crosswalk. TV cameras were rolling when he arrived and asked that the car be removed. "Why don't you move it?" asked one of the dads. "It belongs to you." It took a few moments until he understood. Then he cried. "Everything is good," he said. "I love y'all."

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