Collin Smith (CS) and Ernest Greene (EG)
CS: What made you want to go to college with me?
EG: Well I looked at your life and I roughly estimated that it would cost fifty thousand dollars a year for somebody to be with you twenty four hours a day, five days a week so that you could go to school. It sure wouldn’t have been in the cards for me to have to pay that kind of money. I didn’t figure it would be in the cards for you and your family. And so I offered to go to school with you. Can you remember what your attitude was toward me that first year at college?
CS: I wanted to be just like any other college student and that’s just not possible. I knew I needed help but at the same time I wanted to do my own thing like my friends.
EG: That first year you didn’t hardly want me to open my mouth.
CS: Yeah, I got more comfortable and it was really cool in class sometimes the professor would ask you questions.
EG: And sometimes I was asleep and I didn’t hear the question.
CS: Yeah, I’d have to nudge you and you were like, ”What? What did they ask me?” But you’ve allowed me to do anything and everything. Did you ever think, ”What have I got myself in to, taking care of me?”
EG: Probably a few times. My day started at four-thirty in the morning. Sometimes it was fourteen, sixteen hour days and at that point I was getting very tired. I’d be ready to go home and you were…
CS: Ready to do something else, and…
EG: Do something else.
CS: Yeah, sometimes compromising isn’t the easiest thing to do.
EG: Both of us are pretty strong willed. Aren’t we?
CS: Yes we are. Tell me about graduation day.
EG: Well I had already decided I wasn’t going to let somebody else push you across the stage.
CS: So about the time they put me up the stage, the president of the college started talking about the way you went to school with me.
EG: And gave you your diploma…
CS: and gave me my diploma. I was ready to go and all of a sudden he’s like, ”Hold on.” He ended up giving you an honorary degree.
EG: I don’t’ think I’ve been any more shocked in my life. I didn’t think I had done anything more than any other person ought to do.
CS: We started together and we finished together. It was only fitting, because you were my hands and feet when I couldn’t use mine. So it’s more than just being a friend. You’re like a father to me, a grandfather. And you became family.