Tiffany here…and I have a story to tell. First, let me say that I have been in relationship with the folks here at Family Tree ever since they moved to Charlotte. I met Helms because she was one of my ministers at UNC-Charlotte. I would come around Enderly Park for different projects and got to know some of the neighbors then. I remember joining others in the renovation of the house here on Parkway (The Treehouse). There was A LOT of work done. I remember helping to rip up their floor and put a new roof on the house. It was hard but satisfying work. You can check out a short video of my “Exit Interview” after a day of work here in 2008.
I also remember meeting my friend Raynard very early on too. He is on the left, I’m in the middle, and that’s Jemima on the right. He said his eyes were open but they clearly are not.
Raynard has been one of our neighbors since moving to Enderly Park. I don’t know how he became a part of the family here and I can only tell my story of knowing Raynard, so that’s the one you’ll read here. He always made me feel welcome anytime I was around and still does. He jokes around with me and makes me laugh all the time. I’ve also noticed how he cares for others. For instance, if Helms (who he calls Slim) or I (or any other female for that matter) leave our purse lying around vulnerable and out in the open, he tells us we better put it up somewhere safe and if we don’t, he says he’ll dump all the contents of the purse out to teach us a lesson. He tells us this because he doesn’t want anyone to steal from us. We might not be worried but he wants to watch out for us. For the record, my purse has never been dumped out but he still gives me warnings.
Since last summer, I have spent a lot of time trying to help Ray find a new job. He currently works out at Westinghouse Blvd. at a pretty cruddy job that gives inconsistent hours. This isn’t very helpful when you need a regular, consistent paycheck. So we have applied for a few jobs and spent time looking around but haven’t been able to land a new job quite yet. Recently, however, he has been able to work with one of his church members doing some hard labor outside – cutting and moving trees and other landscaping jobs. If one thing is certain, Raynard is a hard worker and he wants to earn his way in the world. Also, something really exciting happened last week for Ray.
He got new teeth! For as long as I’ve known him, he’s had many teeth missing; but now, he walks around smiling and showing off his pearly whites. We are so happy to see how proud this makes him. If you get to know Raynard, he will tell you of some not so good days in his past. Then he will tell you even better stories of how he has changed his life around and straightened out. Just know that if you get a chance to spend time with us here in Enderly, you’ll probably meet Raynard. He’ll be here to greet you and give you a big ‘ol smile!