MONROE — It seems almost abandoned, this humble annex building attached to the faded bricks of an auto sales shop.A pickup truck crawls toward the front door, the cracked concrete of the driveway popping beneath its tires.A man dressed in jeans and a plaid flannel shirt steps out from the truck and glances at the small cemetery down the road.Donald Lawrence had attended the funeral of a church member earlier on this Wednesday.Those events become more common once the candles count 60. Donald lost his younger brother, Jimmy, just two months ago. Together, they’d planned to re-open this kitchen — this place, full of memories, that a mother left for her 12 children.There’s great value in a memory, in an old story told over platefuls of neck bones, cornbread dressing and candied yams. That’s something Donald’s nephew, LSU defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence, always seemed to understand. As a young boy, Rashard used to sit at the counter, munching on macaroni and cheese, while the adults kibitzed and crowed.”He’d be sitting in the room, wouldn’t say a whole lot,” Donald says, pouring two cups of coffee at a desk in the kitchen corner. “When you don’t say something, you either have nothing to say… Read full this story
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