Monday, May 24, 2010

This is Dedicated...Warren G. Ligon Jr.


My big brother Junior as we called him or “The Bug” to his many friends and family was one of a kind. He died at too young an age and his memory deserves to be preserved. If he were alive today he would be a grand father and great grand father to some wonderful children. His two daughters never really got to know him because they were mere toddlers when he was taken from us.

“Bug” was just twenty years old when he died from complications of an enlarged heart while he was asleep. His young wife awoke to find him unresponsive when she tried to wake him. I can recall her calling the house in a panic to speak to my mother and tell her, Junior was dead. It is one of those moments you never forget.

For the record, I’m the “baby boy” of four sons and thought the world of my big brother. I can remember when we were young and played football games in the front yard of my parent’s house he would look out for me when my other brothers tried to put a hurt on me because I was the smallest. However I do recall one incident when I was running with the ball and everybody did the old dog pile routine on me with great amusement. To them, not me!

I can remember when we were young and whenever we got a new pair of sneakers (when there was only P.F. Flyers and Keds) we would all line up on the sidewalk and race from the corner to the alley just too see who was the fastest and break in our new shoes. Junior was fast!
When the older boys in the neighborhood would play tag football in the street (and wouldn’t let me play) I would watch him run all over everybody and he was very fast for his size. I was much younger and smaller and he had to be about six feet two as a teenager. I don’t believe he ever played high school sports because he was “involved” in other activities.
Some of his activities prevented the rest of us from attending the Junior High School in our neighborhood and had us walking probably about two or three miles to another school on the other side of town. My mother said we could not go too the same school Gompers Junior High because of his reputation there and she was afraid the teachers would hold it against us. Clearly he was not a model student but as I recall he was not stupid.
As I said my brother was no saint as a young man growing up in Watts, California he had his run-ins with “trouble.” However, in the few years before his death he became a father and realized it was time to turn his life around which I’m proud to say he was in the process of doing when tragedy hit.
“Bug” and Brenda became parents in 1965 and he began to take on the responsibilities of a man and father by working right out of high school. Their first daughter was born in April of that year and a year and one day later their second daughter was born.

At twelve I was an uncle and love all of my nieces and nephews, yet understandably there is a special place in my heart for these two girls who are women with children of their own today, those grandchildren and great grandchildren I mentioned earlier.

I wish so very much my big brother could be here today and it’s not just for me but for those grandchildren and great grandchildren who will never know his smile, his warmth and embrace. It is also my wish that his two girls could have grown up and grow old knowing their father through the years and see how much of him is in them.

Over the years everyone in our family has become like surrogate parents to his girls and it I’m grateful that we have been able to remain tight through the years. I could never replace their father but I do relish the role of the Uncle they come to and just talk.
As genealogy goes “The Bug” has left a great legacy, and it is my hope that one hundred years from now when we are turned to dust, he’ll be remembered as a man who loved his family deeply and he touched my life as well as others in the all too short time he walked this earth.

"This is Dedicated to the One I Love..."


  1. Great!!!!!!!!!!!

    You touched not only my heart but my mind as well. I too was just a baby when my uncle "Bug" passed away. I was raised with both of his daughters. We were cousins however I was their lil brother. I was told stories about my uncle from family but the best stories I recalled came from his friends. They all told me, that my uncle was a man as a teenager and that he had several friends. He was well known in the city and he never encountered any strangers. I loved, to hear them recall his life and the way in which he lived on earth. I believe the best time was when my grandfather would say to me, "you remind me of (Junior)". That would make me feel so good inside because of the love and respect from everyone that spoke about him.

  2. What a nice tribute to your brother! I am sorry for your loss and the loss to the rest of your family!

  3. Comment from Facebook:

    Hey uncle T. I saw the tribute to my dad thank you sooo much. I know the uncles did not talk about him much in my growing up you guys just tried to fill the void and thank you for being there when ever I needed you.

    It was put together very well and thank you for sharing your memmories and thoughts about my dad "bug" It was very heart felt .

    love scridgette