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Read More about Grandpa Roscoe and watch the tribute video here.
That was such a beautiful tribute to your grandfather. I really regret not saving my newspapers; I did not know the story would be for 5 days. Is there some way I could get a copy of the 5 days? It is something I would like to share with some friends.
I came looking for your website to tell how moving your tribute to your grandfather was. I saw right away that it wasn't your usual style. Every day it was more moving!
I'm a grandparent too, so I know how proud your Granda is of you!
It’s rare that a cartoon panel is able to stir up the emotions in a very positive way as yours did.Thank you for the wonderful portrayal of a good man’s life in such simplicity and obvious sincerity.
Congrats on a moving tribute to your grandfather this week. Keep up the great work.
I can't stop crying, partially for the simple,tender beauty of your portrayal, partially because I wish my family were that close.
So sorry to hear of your loss, Mr. Bell. I recently had to escort my grandmother the final few feet to her resting place. She had passed away the 18th of April. Her husband preceded her 8 years prior on the 19th of April. Both were laid to rest on the 22nd of April. While we were standing at the gravesite, I put my arm around my mom and said to her, "How fitting. Both of them returned to the planet on Earth day. Quite fitting for the salt of the earth that they were."
Dear Mr. Bell, thank you. Your article about your grandpa Mr. Emmett Roscoe Bell opened my heart to my fears. Now I see it's OK to let children (or grandchildren) aid you when you pass. Also your writing of Mr. Bell's steps toward the possibility of an afterlife rekindled a forgotten faith in me. The visual image of a proud strong man refusing to sing or dance for bullies foreshadows the guts of a wise-ass grandson whose writing is filled with intelligence and passion. Thank you and you bless us as you have been blessed.
I am sorry, Mr. Darrin Bell, Cartoonist of Consequence, that your dear Grandpa had to make his last train trip from the station. When I saw the light in your room go on, and that you had dressed — in a suit and tie, no less! — I knew something important was happening. So I quickly grabbed a clean shirt, tied a tie of my own, slipped on a coat, and then ran down the stairs and out on the street, looking to see which way the two of you had gone. And there you both were, walking at an easy pace toward Alameda. I followed, staying a respectful distance behind. While I meant to be like an honor guard, and I didn't want to interfere, I was close enough to hear your Grandpa say in an easy tone something about "going far away".
Through the darkness Union Station appeared ahead, and I found out why there had seemed to be some unusual movement in the streets along the way. There was a crowd of people already there, now parting to let you and your Grandpa through. I didn't know it at the time, but some of the assemblage were from your Grandpa's community, his church, and his family. And just people he had helped. Some of the men tipped their hats, nodding to your Grandpa. Some in the gathering patted you gently on the back as you passed, and some were trying so very hard to be stoic. A lot of folks just stared, taking in a sight they knew they would never see again.
The train was already there, too, a Southern Pacific black-and-silver GS series pulling a string of Pullman Green sleepers, just like the troop trains that took your brave Grandfather off to World War II and the horrors of Guadalcanal. Calling out “Mr. Bell, Oh Mr. Roscoe Bell!” smiling Red Caps came forward to assist their passenger, and your Grandpa turned to hug you one last time and fiercely, then kissed you and said in a firm, projecting voice everyone could hear: "I love you, Darrin. Good bye for now".
I never heard that famous call of "All aboard" and I couldn't see your Grandpa through the windows of those Pullman cars, but the train started to move. The locomotive's chuff grew louder for some moments and then faded as the train disappeared in its run north to escape the city. When the last car vanished, so the people gathered there started to disburse, some awkwardly offering their condolences and some shyly murmuring their farewells as you made your way out of the station. Most of us were silent, reflecting. We had just witnessed, escorted by his Grandson, a special man of uncommon valor passing.
A faint glimmer appeared above the city's horizon of jumbled buildings pierced by restless freeways. The light grew brighter, a rising sun's rays searching the early morning dawn, lighting the sidewalks, showing the way back to your apartment. Mr. Emmett Roscoe Bell, Sr., still and forever your beacon, was smiling, marked by his God's welcome: "Well done, good and faithful servant!" Your Grandpa was at ease with his reward of eternal rest and peace everlasting, his place on earth always safe in your heart.
Please accept my condolences on the passing of your patriarch. You don't have to do 'great' things to be a great man.
This .4% African American, loves your strip, although being 67, I don't always get it. My all time fave, "Will we ever have a white president."
I just read your tribute (after seeing he strip and having to know more) and I'm bawling like a baby. Wonderful.
I have a big lump in my throat.
My deepest condolences on the loss of your beloved Grandpa. Thanks for sharing him with us. That face! even down to the crinkly eyes. What a nice thing you did to let us meet him, even just for a bit.
-An advid reader.
What a beautiful tribute to your grandfather. May he rest in peace. He did the best that he could do and lived a good life.
I agree with Graham above, I did the same thing as him after reading the strip and I'm glad to have been able to learn that you had a great man in your own life. The roles that everyday hard working and loving people play are too often overlooked or put on the back burner to our typical (media) heroes. Thanks for being so gracious in sharing this part of your personal world and pointing out an atypical hero. Peace.
Thank you for your cartoon today! It is both very sweet and profound at the same time. Years ago you had Susan crying to Lemont over her uncle who had just died. He asked, how can I help? She said, bring him back. And with stunning wisdom, Lemont said, OK, tell me about him. I LOVED that then and quote it still. Wisdom in the comics! Many thanks, Darrin.
I'm not American, so often when I come across a name, I google it to see what I've not understood. So when I read today's comic, I googled "Emmett Roscoe Bell sr", expecting to learn of a great man.
And I did.
Thank you for adding your grandpa to the list of famously known people who take that train ride. Very often, I hate to say this, but Black men who gave to our country in service and who are law abiding citizens get NO recognition by the media at all! We need more role models like your grandpa! These are the REAL heros, right? ☋ ☯♛⚐
Grandpa Roscoe joins the pantheon!