The year was 1990, I was a Morehouse College 5yr student headed to class, when I received a 10 am phone call that my baby brother "Travis K. Thompson" a college freshman in Dallas TX was murdered. He was shot three times, twice in the back and once in the head. Someone needed to make an identification for the coroner, I lived the closest so I took the drive. I asked my girlfriend at the time to take the drive with me, her reply..."I have to work". So I took the 9hr drive alone. There wasn't GPS during this time but I was told to just take Highway 20 West and I'd get there. I had a few hundred dollars on me at the time, so I filled up my Toyota and hit the road.
It was a long drive and I drove mostly in a trance, all the time hoping it was a case of mistaken identity. I knew the chances were slim but I couldn't imagine the thought of my brother being murdered, even though I'd heard it many times before involving someone else's family.
So on the road, I was. When I finally reached Dallas, I needed directions to the morgue so I called the office. By the time I had gotten there, my Pops who had driven from Chicago met me at the front door. We both walked in at the same time and were taken to a small room with three bodies and sheets over them. It was the first time I had to make an identification and the first time I saw dead bodies in a cold room on individual tables. So it was an life-changing experience for someone who had never seen this.
The coroner walked us to the first table and slowly pulled back the sheet, My Pops cried out...OH MY GOD! I teared up and everything went black. I stared at his face because I couldn't believe it was HIM. I kept staring at the body, I guess hoping it was somebody else but it wasn't it was my baby brother. I stood there in disbelief, I was so pissed I couldn't figure out what to do next. My first thought was to find the killer, and I spent years trying to get some kind of retribution, even if it meant my own FREEDOM! I swore to him at that very moment I'd live my life for TWO people....and that was my mission.
No more playing Mr. Nice GUY, NO more KISSING ASS and NO more playing it safe. After his services I QUIT my job and decided to be become an entrepreneur and live a FEARLESS LIFE!
My thought process was simple, if you can die at 18, what in the HELL are you scared of and don't waste ANYMORE TIME in business or personal.
There was big talk about a Million Man March in Washington DC on October 16, 1995. Now I had never been to Washington and I had never been to a march so I was curious, nervous, and excited. I didn't know what to expect I wasn't even sure about going, so I called a childhood friend from Chicago and asked him to go with me. My plan was to sell some t-shirts, he said he was in, so I got busy putting our plan together. I had a t-shirt connect for 200 dozen and I had a Muslim brother who would print my shirts on credit.
So the plan was in motion....print the shirts and get to Washington DC. Two days before I got on the road I called my friend and said," I have the shirts we're ready to go, meet me in DC Friday nite". The phone went silent, I guess he thought I couldn't make it happen. He said... maybe WE shouldn't go, they"ll probably be a riot, we could get killed. I told him I have the shirts, I owe people I gotta go. His reply, GOOD LUCK!
So on to plan B! I recruited eight guys I knew in Atlanta and asked them did they want to go with me to the Million MAN March and make some money.
Short story long, WE drove through the night and arrived in Washington around 3 AM. I parked on a side street near the MALL and told the crew to get some rest. The brothers started coming out at 6am.., I was SOLD OUT by 11AM. You didn't have to twist my arm.....that was the start of my T-SHIRT BUSINESS!
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