The Commerce Journal

Opinion

July 18, 2013

Finding an old note brings back memorable day

COMMERCE — I was going through some of my notebooks and papers the other day while cleaning out some of my old stuff when something peculiar fell out of one of my notebooks.

Three strands of old Walmart receipt tape floated from my notebook to the ground.

I admit, Walmart, while I was a cashier I would hit the button on the receipt machine and write on it when it was slow. What can I say, I’m a writer. It’s what I do.

I began reading the barely legible writing when I quickly realized the subject matter.

I forget the day that it happened—it was two years ago—but I remember it was a Sunday. And I remember the event specifically.

It was the day of the shooting at Commerce Walmart.

Here is my note:

“I was in the middle of sacking a young couple and their child’s groceries when the shouting began.

“The entire crowd of men, women and children gasped as they saw an armed man back into the front of Walmart with an assault rifle and pistol in each hand.

“In silent shock we all stood until a lone cry from a customer rang through the store.

“’He’s got a gun!’ she had cried.

“At once the silent ambiance stirred into what could best be described as a scene from a disaster movie, when the flood or earthquake comes crashing down.

“I ducked and ran, punching my supervisor in the shoulder to get him out of the daze he was in.

“He came to and quickly followed suit.

“I had made it to the magazine section when the sound of the assault rifle penetrated the screams.

“‘Pop pop pop! Pop pop pop!’

“’Please God let me live,’ I prayed relentlessly as I ran.

“An older Mexican woman was in the hardware section with her two kids. She did not speak English well, so I motioned frantically that there was danger.

“Grabbing her two children by their wrists with a mother’s strength, she turned  and ran where I had pointed to.

Bill in assembly was standing out the door that leads to the back of the store, motioning like a base coach for us to round for home as fast as we could run.

“We were all out of breath by the time we made it to the back lot of the store.

“Some were crying, others were like me, shaking still from the shock of it all.

“They allowed us all to leave after they questioned us and made sure we were fine.

“A slow drizzle began to wash away the blood stain on the shooter’s car as I walked past it on the way to my car.

“’A fitting end,’ I thought out loud.

“I got in my car, sat for a moment, started my engine and drove away.”

I don’t think that I will ever forget that day; the crowd screaming, the look in the shooter’s eyes, and the loud ringing of the assault rifle will be etched in my mind for a long time.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • This is ‘Our Commerce’

    Commerce, Texas is a unique community in north east Texas and yet in some ways very typical.

    June 26, 2014

  • IMG_2998.JPG Lions reveal true character

    Character is revealed during times of success and times of tragedy. Texas A&M University-Commerce, and specifically the Athletics Department, showed its character last week when two student-athletes were tragically killed in a car accident.

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Father's_Day_1.jpg A short history of Father's Day

    There are more than 70 million fathers in the United States today. 

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Judging pianists

    “The Van Cliburn Competition is the most important piano competition in the world,” says John Giordano of Fort Worth, who was chairman of the Van Cliburn jury for 40 years.

    June 10, 2014

  • Junk.jpg Enough with the junk

    Let’s play a game.

    May 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lessons learned from decades of making speeches

    I’ve been making speeches to various groups since 1973 when I made my first chamber of commerce speech in Dumas, Texas.

    May 27, 2014

  • Yard full of turtles

    Barbara Ellison of Cameron loves her backyard. It is full of flowers and birds. Occasionally a squirrel will drop in for a meal. “I could stay out here from morning ‘til night,” says Barbara. “It’s so pretty and we enjoy taking care of it.”

    May 13, 2014

  • Mapping Texas’ rocks

    Jim Runge of Eldorado is always doing unusual things.

    April 28, 2014

  • Motel a real winner

    I traveled to Kingsville to do some filming and interviewing on King Ranch.

    April 17, 2014

  • Fighting more than just fires

    For the past few weeks I’ve been attending a Citizen’s Fire Academy hosted by the Greenville Fire Department. 

    April 4, 2014

Featured Ads

Poll

How many games do you think the Lions will win in 2014?

7-9 wins
4-6 wins
1-3 wins
     View Results
Must Read
Facebook
AP Video
Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide