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Friday, June 17, 2016

The Best Dollar I Ever Spent

By Mark Collier

I don't normally interject my thoughts into the news that we cover on Fort Thomas Matters. I'm a news guy and that's not my job and I understandably know that many may read that first sentence and you've already tuned out. And I don't blame you. My opinion is not more valuable than yours.

But as someone who witnessed the truly sad and tragic scene yesterday in Fort Thomas and then read the comments of those who may be scared or having a hard time understanding why this happened, I feel like it's my obligation to at least say what I observed.

First and foremost: this was an absolute outlier situation. This was not a random thing that happened amongst two strangers. These men had a long history, reportedly that started in the second grade when they went to grade school together here in Fort Thomas.

We aren't sure what led up to it, but what I do know is that our city was the safest in Kentucky yesterday and it's still the safest city today. Bad things happen everywhere and there's no reason to think they can't happen here, but we can't worry our lives away.

I got the absolute best reminder of this as I was leaving the scene yesterday.

I was drained. I was working at Fort Thomas Coffee in the morning and through lunch. I stopped at 2:15 and walked to Subway for a sandwich. I stopped over to talk to a business owner when I got the call that something tragic was happening on S. Fort Thomas Avenue. It was a scene that I never relish coming upon. Especially in my hometown.

I reported live  - which is not my forte - and then finished up my written story in a local establishment. All told, I was there for about three hours, my sad sandwich uneaten sitting on my passenger seat.

As I was heading home, I passed two sweet little girls who had set up a lemonade stand on the corner of Bivouac and S. Fort Thomas Avenue. The thoughts of the day still fresh and running through my head, I passed them before I realized what they were doing. Yes, I was thirsty, but what I needed wasn't a drink. I needed a humanitarian reminder that our city is special.

That pink lemonade not only quenched my thirst, but very truly those two little girls sold me a cup of altruistic benevolence that my soul needed that day.

It was the best dollar I've spent in a year.

I went home, washed off the day, spent time with my family and then my friends later that night and was thankful.

I think it's okay to be sad for the men involved and their families, but I also think it's important to know that this was an isolated thing between them.

So let's be thankful for our emergency first responders who came to the scene, our police who secured the area quickly and let's continue to support our local businesses in that area.


  1. My name is Johnnetta burke. I am Donnie Smith girl friend. I wanted tell you Donnie was a father of 5 children and a grandpa. He was a very kind loving man. He had compassion for people. include Hank. Hank lived with us for 3 years. Donnie bent over backwards for him.We were together for 12 years.Drugs had nothing to do with this and besides that he didnt do any kind of drugs. Hank wanted to move back in and Donnie said no
    I loved him very much. Hank didnt have to kill him
    We was gonna leave today to go to Indiana to spend fathers day with his kids instead we have to bury him.

  2. Sorry for your loss johnetta. I can't imagine the pain of losing a loved one like that.

  3. That's a nice commentary, Mark. There seem to be so many tragic stories lately, some affecting us more closely than others.

    I always feel great after supporting young entrepreneurs, whether they're selling lemonade, Girl Scout cookies or offering lawn mowing.