No Idea Why

Getting mad at someone and killing someone...that’s not the way.

I grew up out in the country in a little town twenty miles south of Charleston, South Carolina.

My relatives are still there.

We weren’t rich but it was good childhood.

I used to love to hunt and fish.  I killed a lot of squirrels, raccoons, rabbits and deer.

When I was thirteen or fourteen, I had a bolt-action 12 gauge six shot. The gun would turn you upside down! You had to hold it right or it would knock you down.

Guns are a serious thing. You have to use good judgment because a gun is a dangerous tool. You have to use your head. Getting mad at someone and killing someone...that’s not the way.

I know the feeling of losing someone because I lost my son to gun violence.

It happened in 2012. We’d been together for 36 years, since the day he was born. We had a good relationship. We were friends—father and son, but friends too.

I have no idea why they killed him.

They lured him into a back street and shot him three times in the chest. 

I couldn’t give the slightest reason why someone would have killed him.

I don’t know why that happened. 

I really don’t. I know that he loved to be out with everybody. He was a nice person, as far as I know.  There must have been some kind of misunderstanding that he and someone had, and he got lured into the wrong place and got killed. 

I don’t know why he got killed. 

The law never found out who killed him or why.  I just left the area before I killed someone. It would have probably been the wrong person.

I needed to go somewhere so I came to Charlotte. I was homeless for awhile but now my life is more stable. 

Things are going well for me. Now I often go back to Charleston to visit my family.  I take the bus back there and visit my mother on all the holidays. My son had two kids. I still see my grandkids every time I go to Charleston.  They are doing great. 

I do miss my son.

I miss him every day.


An Update on Edward

Edward has been partnered with Speak Up as a street vendor since 2015. His weekly earnings from selling magazines have kept him off the streets, put food on his table, and allowed him to live with dignity.

As of today, he is doing well.

He was a recipient of Speak Up’s Covid-19 Support Fund in 2020—through which he was given direct financial payouts on a weekly basis. This partnership enabled him to stay safe in his apartment during the uncertain early months of the pandemic, without the risk of losing income stability. That fund, and the many that benefited, were thanks to dozens of supportive donors.

After that multi-month hiatus last year, Edward returned to selling Speak Up in Uptown Charlotte. “I’m happy to be working again,” he said.

As one of the top-selling (and most appreciated) vendors of all time, here’s why Edward loves Speak Up:

“It puts money in my pocket and keeps me off the streets. I love selling the magazine. My customers have become my friends.”

In addition to legacy print magazine sales, Edward has embraced the new digital subscription model launched ten months ago. He hands out subscription cards labelled with his name and when free readers convert to a paid subscription, he benefits financially.