Former City Councilman Continues Annual Tradition - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/25/04

Former City Councilman Continues Annual Tradition

Former City Councilman T.J. Patterson's steps aren't as strong as they might have been 18 years ago, but his spirit is still the same. And every Christmas you can find Patterson shaking hands and chatting with inmates at the Lubbock County Jail. It is a tradition that began hundreds of miles away in another jail.

"I was talking to Reverend Jesse Jackson at the time at that year he was doing it in Washington D.C. and I said I'm going back to Lubbock to do the same thing," says Patterson.

Since then Patterson has been approached by men who say his Christmas visit touched their life.

"One day I went to the post office and my wife was driving. I got out and went inside, came back and she said, 'T.J., a gentlemen next door told his father that on Christmas day you came by and talked with him last year and he appreciated that," says Patterson.

So this Christmas, Patterson hopes that his words will bring some hope and peace.

"We come to say we love you. We don't like what you did but at the same time hold your head up high because this is the first day of the rest of your life, December 25th, 2004," says Patterson.

Patterson is unsure if he will make the walk that has become a yearly tradition on Christmas Day 2005, but he has faith that others will step in and carry on.

"When I'm going home and can't do it no more some of these young folks will keep it going. We cannot turn our heads and our hearts away from people. It's what the world is about," says Patterson.

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