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Young Justin was writer's 'pride and joy'

Young Justin was writer’s ‘pride and joy’Editor’s note: This column about Justin Monroe, one of the two firefighters who died in Friday’s blaze, was originally published in the Salisbury Post on May 1, 1995. The author, longtime reporter and columnist Homer Lucas, died in 1998.
By Homer Lucas
Salisbury Post
Justin is 6. He’s the pride and joy of Lisa and Eddie Monroe.
He’s also the pride and joy of his grandpa and grandma, Walt and Edith Monroe.
He’s also my pride and joy, and he picked me as his surrogate father.
That came as a surprise to Eddie.
Eddie and Justin were jawing. At times it got to be Eddie was trying to slip Justin a curve.
Justin didn’t buy it.
That was the time when Eddie said to Justin, “You know, I am your Daddy.” Justin said he knew that.
Eddie threw the curve with the remark, “In fact, you know I am the only Daddy you have.”
Justin knocked that ball out of the park with the reply, “Nope, I have another one.”
Eddie admits he was somewhat stunned. He had to know who was the other Daddy.
He got the reply: “Homer.”
That shows Justin has good vibes. Or does it?
Lisa and Eddie are raising Justin right. He has manners and he has respect for others, including his learning.
He’s an excellent student. His grades prove it. He’s learning some common sense along with his book sense.
He’s just getting out of spelling words identified by pictures. The words are printed in big type.
Eddie, Lisa and Justin were resting in the king-size bed. Justin was in the middle.
The three were fixing to take a look at the new speller in smaller type and no pictures.
Eddie opened the book.
Justin saw the words.
His reaction was by his remark: “My God, Dad, they are mean-looking words.”
Eddie and Lisa didn’t like the use of two words used to describe the book. But they were smart in not asking, “Where did you hear those two words?” They knew not at home or from Walt and Edith.
Eddie doesn’t know where Lisa will put the mounted crappie he caught several days ago.
It weighed over two pounds. Surely a father wouldn’t tell a fib about the weight of fish caught by his son.
Not even Eddie.
I’m happy to be in good standing with Justin. I just wish I could last long enough to see him make good. He will. In my obit I hope it will be added, “Justin Monroe, surrogate son.”

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