This is how I choose to remember Rufus and Lynn. Her smiling, and him looking serious and focused. No news article written or forthcoming, no haters, and no one else can deny the impact that both of them had on this community and our city. The diversity of speakers that honored them at their funeral, from family and church leaders to civic giants and elected officials, all spoke of a couple that made you think and got things done.

Who knew that in addition to all of her civic duties, Lynn attended mass daily and was in a monthly book club with many women including Carol West (Sen. West’s wife), State Rep Barbara Mallory Caraway and others? Who knew that Rufus was not just a world-class athlete but also a student that was always at the top of his class in high school and college?

How ironic is it that at the same time as their funeral, Barack Obama delivered a speech that will go down in history as one that challenges us to do better as people and as a country from a racial perspective. I wonder what Rufus would have thought or wrote about today’s speech.

It’s also ironic that last week, the new shopping center just a mile down the street from their home. Championed by former Councilman James Fantroy, the center includes a Target, with a Chili’s, several banks, and other businesses set to open in the coming months. This is part of what Rufus and Lynn wanted, to have development in our community. As we move to make changes in our community, they won’t be here to see it. That’s what really hurts.

They never acted like they were doing you a favor do give you a few words of encouragement or advice. Rufus is one of the people that inspired me to write in Dallas. I remember a conversation with me when Lynn called somebody a wimp for not stepping up and taking control of a meeting, which made me laugh out loud on the telephone. The last time we talked on the phone, I remember that she told me “Rufus said ‘keep doing what you’re doing.’ “

I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing them for decades, as many others in the audience did. But I know this: their community and civic contributions are to be remembered and honored, and no article can take that away…at least that’s how I see it from South of the Trinity.


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