Regarding “Caregiving, ministering, volunteering: Seniors are essential,” Nov. 19, Page 20:

Thank you for your article highlighting seniors who are volunteering in the community.

I especially enjoyed reading about Leroy Patton. He and I both worked at Portland Public Schools, where we first met. He was a tireless advocate for youths who were in danger of dropping out of school. I am sure there are many former students who would credit him with giving them a nudge, or shove, to stay in school. He is the most caring and civic minded person I’ve ever met.

Later on, he volunteered as a citizen advisor to Metro’s (the regional government) investment committee. His background in community involvement was helpful in advising the committee. I worked for Metro at the time and that is where our paths crossed again.

I recall times he told how he, a senior and respected employee at Portland Public Schools, would be pulled over by police for no apparent reason. Well, other than being Black, that is. I learned from his candid, but not angry, explanation of how he, a Black man, was treated differently than I was. His explanation of how we live in the same city but in two different worlds, was to me both eye opening and sad.

Brian Williams

Salem