R.I.P. Skip “The Critterman”

R.I.P. Skip “The Critterman”

The nicest thing about having a blog is that it’s your own, personal legal pad. You can scribble anything you like on it, and no one can tell you that you can’t. (This has nothing in the world to do with law practice management so, if you read on, don’t say you weren’t warned.)

A little piece of my heart is broken today.  I can’t get this out of my mind, so the only thing left to do is write about it. I heard on the ten o’clock news last night that Skip “The Critterman” had been found dead beside his burning pickup truck earlier in the day. He had been stabbed, and the motive appears to have been robbery. I have heard, alternatively, that the police are looking for two men and that they have no suspects.

I became acquainted with Skip only last month. My husband went downstairs one evening in December, in response to a noise in the kitchen, and discovered one happy raccoon sitting in the sink, gorging himself on the cornbread left from supper. The fit through the cat door was tight, but with a little gentle encouragement our fat and happy bandit was able to exit the same way he had entered. While we thought he was cute and we really didn’t mind losing the cornbread, we decided that we probably shouldn’t take him on as a pet, and so we called Skip.

Skip was one of those good ole Southern boys from another time and place – a real country boy with no need for iPods, iPads or iPhones but, in this modern era of disappearing opportunities for anyone without an advanced degree, he had managed to turn his love for the outdoors and his encyclopedic knowledge of nature into an apparently reasonably well-paying job catching “critters” displaced by encroaching human civilization and releasing them back into some of the few forested areas left that could still support and nourish them. And he managed to support and nourish a family doing this. I don’t know much about his family, but I do know that he had a wife and a young son.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this; I guess I’m just looking for some purpose in the absolute purposeless of Skip’s untimely and criminal death. I’m glad I’m a lawyer and that I have the opportunity, through my position here at the bar, to provide management information and support to the lawyers, both those who will, eventually, prosecute and defend Skip’s killers. Our system of justice may not be perfect, but what would we have without it?

Skip, we appreciate everything you did for us, and we thought you were a fine man. Rest in peace.