A roadside memorial, a grieving father, and a company that helped
For more than a decade a small, mysterious roadside memorial was meticulously maintained in the Hilltop neighborhood of Richmond, Calif. Featuring statues of angels, solar-powered lights, fresh flowers, and small shrubs, the memorial stretched along the fence line of a Chevron refinery. No one knew who the memorial honored or who was maintaining it all those years untilthis week
when the man responsible, a father grieving his only son, finally stepped forward.
"We'd see that it was being maintained, but we'd never see who was maintaining it," Chevron executive Joe Lorenz toldNBC News
Ever since it popped up, Chevron was content to let the memorial stay on its property. Last year, however, the company sought to upgrade the Richmond facility, which put the memorial in jeopardy. Instead of just bulldozing it, company officials left a note at the memorial asking the caretaker to contact them. That's when a man named Raymond Olson stepped forward and claimed responsibility.
Olson created the memorial to honor his only son, Raymond Olson Jr., who was killed by a drunken driver in 2002. Olsen built and tended the memorial in the dead of night, afraid that he would be caught and the memorial dismantled. When he found the note from Chevron on the memorial, he thought his fears had finally come true. He was wrong.
Instead of demolishing the memorial, Chevron teamed up with the head of the local neighborhood association to build a permanent memorial at a nearby park. The new memorial features a bench and a large rock bearing a plaque with a picture of the younger Olson.
"We said, 'This is your spot, Ray. You no longer have to come at night,'" Lorenz said.
Olson, overcome by the company's generosity, told NBC News that with the construction of the new memorial he could finally accept his son's death.
"It shows you people do still care," Olson said. "The world has hope."Related Video:
via Autoblog http://www.autoblog.com
March 23, 2017 at 04:06AM