A man who is working as a dishwasher at the Crab Shack at the age of 48 is surely better off dead.
The newspaper editors were deeply offended at this gross dismissal of the value of a human life, and responded by publishing a full obituary for Mr. Smith. He was a private man, but noted among a small circle of friends for working hard and sharing with those in need:
"He set his boundaries," said Peggy Rogers, 56, his roommate of six years. "He didn't pry into your business, so you just kind of respected that and you didn't do that to him."
He told friends he had been married and divorced, had managed a gas station in New Hampshire before moving to Florida in 1999. He got a concession stand job at Derby Lane, then started working at the Crab Shack.
He lived in a mobile home near the restaurant and paid rent to the owner, Bonnie Schaeffer-Mott. Once, when she feared the power company would shut off the electricity, she asked Mr. Smith for help.
He gave her more than what she had asked to borrow and insisted she take it. "I'll never forget that," said Schaeffer-Mott, 51.
Every life matters.
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