Stories like this are quite bittersweet to me. The cause is quite disheartening, but the result of community togetherness—what a community should be—gives me back a little faith in humanity.
There is a man in our small community who mostly everybody knows, but hardly anybody knew his last name till a few days ago. His name is Ralph, 57 years old, and he is developmentally challenged. He walks the streets, constantly, smiling and talking to everybody, and waving at cars as they go past.
He is the town’s biggest Pittsburgh Steeler’s fan, as evidenced by the outfits he wears, and the fact that he usually carries a large black and gold umbrella. Ralph walks around and sometimes is not too careful of traffic, but locals all know him and watch out for him. Some of us have talked about the fear that somebody from out of town might hit him, not expecting him to walk out suddenly at times. That was the worst we thought could happen to Ralph.
But. Over the weekend, some young man beat Ralph up. They…
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