My Brother, My Friend, Big Heart, Christian Man Reflections by Randy Scott
Floyd: I would rather be doing a different interview than the one we are doing today, but because I think that Odis was so significant in our community we need to take time and reflect on his life. Not only talk about him for ourselves, but talk about him because the community would appreciate it. So the first thing I want to know is…. When did you first meet Odis?
Randy: I met Odis in December 1974.
Floyd: OK, what was that occasion?
Randy: He had just came down to visit the campus and stayed.
Floyd: And that being at Abilene Christian?
Floyd: And I understand that he stayed and I believe you said earlier that you were roommates that first year.
Floyd: I understand you played basketball together. What kind of basketball player was he?
Randy: “He was an awesome dude. Like I told you he is the only one I know who could catch my passes, no matter what I put on them, he was gonna catch it and put them up. If not it would be a rebound it he missed it.”
Floyd: Well, that’s a great compliment, coming from you. I know you were one of his pall bearers, what an honor! Would you please tell me about your relationship?
Randy: I would say that our relationship was more like a brother, blood relationship than just roommates and friends, we were family. He had my back and I had his. His mother adopted me and my parents adopted him, so we just knew things about each other or we could either just read each other’s minds on some things. It was just one of those situations, it is very hard to explain, but we could look at each and we would nod our heads, we knew exactly why we were nodding our heads. Whether it was dealing with our kids, the community, or certain people that we both knew. That is something that you just don’t get every day.
Floyd: That sounds like a friend that is closer than a brother.
Randy: I agree.
Floyd: Many of know Odis as a community person that’s where most of us interacted with him, but I know that you were closer. What was he like as a family man? What was he like at home, out of the eyes of the public?
Randy: I think from my stand point what I could see, everything that he did not have coming up, he made sure his children had and not the stuff, but the idea of having a father around, having a father take care of things and you could talk to. You know, there are a lot of guys, if you really knew Odis and his family, they would be envious of the way that he was with his children and his grandchildren. To me, I was very proud to see the man that he had become, this gave me some hope to stay the course. So, it wasn’t that we were in competition with each other, we just made each other better, as men, as Christians, as fathers. We talked about our children all the time, we wanted to know what the other one was doing and how we were doing it. It was just something that kept us going and kept us on track. You know, we have two beautiful ladies that married us and from that stand point, that is not an easy deal for them to be with guys like us. I always felt like, when you marry someone, one or two things is gonna happen. She is going to make you better or are you going to fight a lot to get to the point where you need to be? I think Pam was that piece of the puzzle that made him better. They were a team, there was not semi-team, they were a team and that is the way I feel about my wife, we are a team and I appreciate that. I know it is hard for her from the stand point of not having him there, one day you are here and you expect to be together a long time and all of a sudden it is no more. So that legacy still goes on because of the love that she has in her heart for him, between God and him putting it there. It is a daily blessing to be a part of all that.
Floyd: I did not know Mrs. Dolton as well, but whenever I talked with Odis, particularly if we got into a financial area and we began to talk about that, he immediately pivoted and said, “Hey that is my wife’s deal, that’s Pam, she is the expert there”. He always acknowledged her in a very positive way in talking with me. If someone asked you to describe Odis Dolton, what would be your best description of this man?
Randy: My brother. My friend. Big Heart. Christian man. A big heart and a Christian man.
Floyd: You know, I was looking at social media and just being out in the community after Odis passing, people would tell me how much Odis meant to them. Why do you think there is so much outpouring. What was it about Odis that would make people take notice at this time and feel like they needed to say something?
Randy: Well, for one, Odis did not fit the mold of your average black man. Not to take anything away from brothers, but the stereotype that is put on us, when you met Odis, you knew right then what kind of person he was and you had respect for him. I work with young men every day, no matter what color of their skin, first impressions are the ones that sticks with you the longest when you meet people, good or bad. I think that everybody that came in contact with Odis, he made them all feel good. Made them feel better about who they were.
Floyd: What do you think his legacy will be? What do you think it is that people will remember about him by for a long time?
Randy: Odis was people person. He was a man of the people in a quiet way. He wasn’t boastful or loud or anything like that. He wasn’t a showman, but he showed showmanship in a way that even God will be pleased.
Interviewed by Floyd Miller of West Texas Tribune.