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24 hours

A return for a dear friend.

An Appalachian County’s Community Bonds Help Overcome Challenge Of Poverty Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

We are a cycling blog. We have the personnel on hand to dispense decent mechanic advice for a variety of bicycles, but at the end of the day we ride single speeds. Single speeds are straightforward, simple, and easily repaired. You can work on a single speed machine in your own house.

Single speeds get you to work, to the bar, and to McDonald’s. A yellow single speed almost got Mel to McDonald’s on Monday night before he was killed by a drunk driver in downtown Charleston, SC. He was 59 years old.

Mel painted houses for a living. He did other contract work too, but he was proud that he painted pretty much every house on Bogard Street in Chuck’s Elliotborough district. He did a hell of a job, and everyone smartly kept hiring him, because his work was professional work.

Mel lived for a time next to the pizza shop across the street, because Mel probably painted the damn house he lived in, and the pizza shop as well. He was a good painter, because he liked being a painter, and he cared about the craft.

Everyone in this borough of Charleston knew Mel, because Mel wanted to know you. And if you were a decent person, you needed to know Mel. He’ll offer an opinion on most everything, and argue well for it. Ask him about Lebron James.

Mel was killed while cycling on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018 at the corner of Septima Clark Parkway and Hagood Avenue in downtown Charleston. He was 59 years old.

Mel was a pillar of this Chucktown community, and our GoFundMe to help his family in the wake of this tragedy has raised more than $6,000 in under 24 hours. Mel had a daughter and son, and they made him proud to have had so.

Mel passed on Monday night, which is more than 24 hours ago, but deaths throw perspective out of perspective. Death distorts life and experience. Mel likes you already, reader, because Mel liked people, and further because Mel was good people. The best people, actually.

This is in memory of Mel, who rode his bike to and from there.