Countless Westporters knew him as an ever-smiling, always gentle and kind man.
His boss knew him as an incredibly hard worker. He volunteered for every task, made sure it was done right, and helped make the entire store run well.
He’s gone now, back to his home country.
He was a legal immigrant. But his wife was undocumented.
They were so fearful of what might happen, they decided to leave. They loved America, and made the most of their lives here. Now though, the risks seemed too great.
His boss is devastated. So — when they heard the news — were the customers, who had become his friends.
I’m not using his name, or where he worked. I’ve been told that in his home country, gangs think people who worked in America have a lot of money. The fear of extortion or robbery is real.
The “06880” reader who told me this story says, “It’s one thing to read about something like this in the paper. It’s so different when someone you like is actually involved.”
The store owner has no idea what her former employee’s new life will be like.
She hopes he stays in touch.