By Jeanie Summerville
What’s up, babies?
Today is July 22, 2014, which means, today is my third year anniversary of shining the spotlight on you and all that you do, in the name of love. As we travel on our journey, to get to know one another better, the more you know, the less you have to guess. And, what a ride it has been. It has had it’s up and downs, just as anything else in life but through it all, it has been a joyous ride for me and I hope for you too. And, now to celebrate this momentuos occasion, we bring to you a man that has been through a lot in his lifetime but got himself together by the grace of GOD and became an entrepreneur and is now trying to help others overcome their criminal ways and this is what he has to say:
“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Larry Martin Sr., and I was born in Marion, Ala., and raised in Chicago and then here in Fort Wayne. I’m the owner of Platinum Collision Repair and Custom Painting that‘s located at 601 E. Pontiac St., and I’ve been in business here for 24 years.
“Auto collision repair is our primary work on cars, trucks and etc., that are American, Foreign and Domestic made. But I’m also a recovering addict of 22 years, a self-made person considering my life and things that I’ve been through in the penal system, due to, my criminal activities of stealing and selling drugs in the past. I’m a husband, a father and a grandpa.
“I opened my own auto repair shop because I got tired of being tired with the criminal life I was living and I couldn’t do it anymore. I asked the LORD to deliver me from that and I made HIM a promise that if HE released and helped me come out of it, I would never go back to it, that was 24 years ago and I feel great about it. Auto repair was destined for me because at the age of nine I was infatuated with being outside with my dad on Saturday’s to help him work on his car along with his friends and brothers. It was a time of fun and togetherness as he’d ask me to hand him tools and he would explain to me what they were and what they’re functions are. But, my love for body shop repair came from, Mr. James Walker, the owner of Walker’s Body Shop because he gave me a chance in his shop in 1973. His body shop was very nice and he was very professional. He was also my friend and he taught me everything I needed to know in collision repair so I could be successful. He has past , but he was a great man in my book.
“I minister this story to every kid and adult that comes this way because I‘ve touched lives with my story. I have even lost jobs that came through here because I was ministering to someone at a particular time. I think that ministering is one of my callings in life. I help people that need it, want it and try to embrace it because life is a miracle and every human being is a miracle. They should understand that all human beings are subject to human mistakes and we have the power to correct it because GOD gave us that power from birth to live life. And, I want you to know that when you do the right thing and work hard, you’ll have things and live a good life and I’m a witness to that.
“The way things are here in Fort Wayne, I want to say that right now today, I’ve learned how not to allow the devil to hinder me from the good things in life. When you understand who he is and what his job is, you’ll be able to live life abundantly and you’ll be able to see when he’s coming and see him when he’s there. He still tries to work on me but for the most part, you have to be spiritual. You got to get some GOD in you and you can do anything that you want to do. I know you may hear this all the time but I’m saying it because it’s true and you have to make up in your mind, to do what you have to do, to take command of your life.
“And, pertaining to the killings of the youth in Fort Wayne and in this country, I feel like the system has failed our community of minorities people, as far as, blacks, Latinos and poor whites. But, my most concern is for the African Americans. These young men don’t understand what’s going on killing each other, for what? It’s useless and a lose, lose situation and when you’ll talk about ‘turf,’ you don’t own any property! We live in a government that will never allow us to own property because we pay taxes for stuff that we already own.
“You also need to know, prisons are owned by private people because it’s a business and all of them are popping up around the country and it‘s all about the mighty dollar bills you‘ll. They’re not being put up by the government or the state but by people who want to confine another human being. They don’t care anything about you! They only care about the money they‘re going to get with you being in their prison. And you’re running around here shooting each other for nothing because you’re angry and you’re angry with yourself. Half of you are killing your own cousins and you don’t even know it. You don’t have the sense to sit back, humble yourself and look at what’s going on around you. Look at what’s happening. Kids walking around here with these big guns, fancy cars, all type of money until they get tired of you and then they let you kill your cousin just to have you locked up for the rest of your life. They’re killing two birds with one stone. Wake up, young men, because that’s sad.
“I’ve walked this walk in the ills of the night half of my life and I’ve done 18 years of confinement in detention centers, prisons, homes, jails and that’s not anything to be proud of. And, even though I committed crimes, I never killed anyone and I never even thought about it. But we as human being, are all temporary killers when it comes down to protecting ourselves and our loved ones but to kill someone maliciously is another thing. And, the way things are going now, kids are treating killing like it’s a new fad or something. It’s like buying a new shirt. No one goes to jail because of the lack of evidence and it’s crazy. The system has failed us dramatically.
“I’m saying all of these things, so you can understand that I get it, I’ve been there and I know what you feel. You want some of that American dream but this isn’t the way to get it you’ll. Killing each other with poison and killing each other with guns, disrespecting your woman and your children, that‘s not what life is about. And, the kids that are out here disrespecting their parents, you really have a serious problem and you need to get yourself together. You can’t go by what you’re parents did especially if you’re grown but learn from them so you can be better by your kids. I’m telling you all of these things because these are real things that I’m talking about and thing’s that has happened in my life and I understand them. But I’m no means perfect and I’ve got issues and things going on in my life that I don’t understand.
“But I do understand this: I’m a compassionate, concerned, strong and dominant man and I stand on my two feet and there’s foundation under it. I intend to stand tall, perpendicular and up right to defend my family and me and there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s what men live for. Fools live to be fools and fools that die being fools, shame on you. Because you have the abilities and the opportunities to change your ways. It’s on you, don’t judge me—hear what I’m saying. You can have your opinion about me because what you think about me is not going to change what’s going on with you. You have to change yourself and you can do that.
“I was told by my doctor that if I didn’t stop smoking, I’d die, so I quit. I knew if I kept doing, what I was doing on the streets and in prison, I was a dead man, so I asked GOD to deliver me and HE did and I quit. Because I decided not to steal, sell drugs, use drugs, drink alcohol and run the streets anymore. I want what GOD gave me and that’s life! And, I want to live it all the way out. I’ve been right here on this corner for 24 years and I’m happy and I wouldn’t change my life for nothing in the world. So understand this: if you continue to stay out there, you might not live to survive it like I did. GOD’s got a job for you and if you don’t wake up and realize what it is, He’ll take that job away and HE’ll put you down. He has a rapture, believe me.
“My business hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.to 5 p.m, and my phone number is (260) 302-2143. So when you’re in need of collision repair or custom painting, give me a call and if you want to talk, just stop by.”
Now in closing I say, great job, Larry! I’m so proud of you and to the readers, Larry means what he says, in the name of love. So until next week, you’ve been Up Close with Jeanie. Bye, bye, babies.
P.S. If you would like The Spotlight shined upon you or someone that you know, all in the name of love, just send me an e-mail to upclosewithjeanie@yahoo. com. I’d love to hear from ya.
P.P.S. I’d like to thank all of you who have been sending me e-mails to give me some feed back on our journey. Keep up the good work and to those who haven’t please feel free to do so because I’d love to hear from you too.