Niagara Gazette

Columns

May 3, 2013

HAMILTON: The point is that Dolson was a scrapper

Niagara Gazette — Donald Dolson died last month.

Most of you reading this have never even heard of him and that’s all right because there are hundreds of other Donald Dolsons right around you — and most of you don’t realize it.

Between his home and the scrap yards, where he often sold the discarded metal items that lay along the city’s curbs, Donald’s funeral was held at St. John AME Church in Niagara Falls’ North End. In Reverend Points’ eulogy there, he focused upon Donald as being a ‘scrapper.’

There are two kinds of scrappers in the American lexicon, those words that we use to describe people and actions. Someone whom you are hesitant to fight, because of their perceived toughness, is one description of a scrapper. While Donald’s ruddy, compact body probably would likely dissuade more fights than it would have caused, his gentle personality would have dissuaded even more.

However, Reverend Points’ sermon was not about that definition of ‘scrapper.’ His eulogy was not even so much about the discarded metal objects that Donald collected from the curbs of the city. Those objects were just a metaphor for a larger part of Donald’s being.

For you see, as with Donald driving up one street and then down another, searching for metal ‘things’ of value that others had discarded, he encountered people who were often much like those paint-stained and broken metal shelves whose owners had found no further use for them. Those people were like the stoves that no longer worked, or the dryers that no longer dried, or the bed frames, upon which growing children once slept and had outgrown both them and their usefulness. As Reverend Points pointed out, along the way, Donald found value in those people too.

Those in the sanctuary, that day, all sat, listened and mourned, as Reverend Points ask them to look around the room at each other, “... and see those who are here that have been thrown away. Donald found value in you, too,” he said.

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