Did the feature image give you pause? If so, it was the intent, of this story teller to set the stage for the true story of the one person I met, and the other that with his “2 Hands Of A Walking Dead Man Made A Cover That Only Fits One Book.” Let me make it absolutely clear from the start, this is not an article on the merits of Capital Punishment, at the present time it is the law of the land, and I choose to leave it at that. Now what follow is what this true story is all about. I have had this cover and this story for over 25 years, and it seems a natural fit that I tell it at Lead Follow Or Find A New Way, simply because it encompasses all three things.
This is the story of a real death row inmate, and his wife Diane. I never met Diane’s husband Randy in person, there was no possible way for that, he was on death row for taking the life of another, his final days were spent at this place. Just outside of Brushy Mountain Sate Prison, was a campground, and that brings us to the reason Diane and I crossed paths.
At the time I was a sales consultant for one of the largest R.V Dealers in the state of Tennessee. I really love sales and customer satisfaction, and the truth is I did quite well financially, and that worked out well for both Diane and me. What took place next is one of those experiences, that we carry with us for the rest of our lives. It is my firm belief that there are no accidents, and on a cold snowy Saturday morning, that belief was affirmed for me like a lighting bolt, if you have worked commission sales, you will understand this perfectly. As it turned out Diane was my next “up”, a small framed woman who had that terrible look of despair on her face, body language speaks louder than most words do. Her body language was not speaking, but rather, crying out with agony with a face filled with pain. What took place next sticks with me to this very day.
As it was my costume with each customer, I took Diane into my office, to ask a few pertinent questions. Because I knew my inventory quite well, it was always helpful to understand what the customer was looking for and how they intended to use it. When Diane explained to me what she needed and what it was going to be used for, I had to grit my teeth so my jaw did not hit the floor. She explained to me, that her husband was on death row, and his time was getting very short, and what she needed was a small travel trailer she could set up at the campground close to the prison so she could visit more often, without having to make the 3 hour drive she had been making for years. She further explained she only had 500.00 dollars to spend, and was there anything that was available for that amount of money? My heart sank in my stomach, I knew there was nothing in my inventory that would fit her needs with that amount of money. The next question I asked Diane, was if I had something that fit her needs did she have a way to get it to the campground and set it up? Her reply was that her brother-in-law had a truck and was able to get it to the campground close to the prison. At this point I excused myself, with the excuse of let me see what I can find that may work for you.
I left and went straight into my sales managers office, closed the door, and told him that I had a deal for him, and we really needed to make it. I told him of Diane and her story, now he knew and I knew, that I had just taken in on trade a unit that would fit her needs perfectly.
This how the deal was made, trust me I am no saint, but I have always believed that the “next right thing is always the best thing to do”. We both knew just how much actual money, we put into the trade on the unit that would work for Diane. The unit I sold was dated inventory, and it had a 2000.00 bonus attached to it, plus the commission on the sale. The offer was this, take the bonus, and apply it to the trade along with tax and title, and we will close the deal on the unit for Diane today. You could have cut the silence with a knife, the only sound in the room was the calculator, then Leland thats was the sales managers name, looked up and smiled and uttered the words “done deal.” Diane picked up her travel trailer the very next day.
I never saw Diane again, but 6 months later I was at an RV show in New Orleans, and upon my return, there was a package waiting for me. Inside the package is what I will show you now. But before I do, there is an untold story, its the one about the man who’s life was cut short by “2 Hands Of A Walking Dead Man Made A Cover That Only Fits One Book.”