Mall Staff Celebrates Birthday of Special “Employee”

Lisa Patrick

The Ashland Beacon


   Mindy Stanley, an employee at Kay Jewelers, started working at Ashland Town Center about 20 years ago, stating that even then, James “Jimmy” Montgomery was coming to the mall almost every day and making his rounds. Montgomery is better known to the mall staff as “Roscoe” because of his obsession with the Dukes of Hazard television show. When Roscoe told Stanley that he had a birthday coming up, she made a public Facebook post asking for donations of 8 track tapes and birthday presents. She was hoping for some tapes for him because he “truly is a precious soul.” The response was overwhelming.

   Mindy explained that Roscoe comes into the store two or three times a day when he visits the mall, and always wants to help. She said that he “tells us that he's praying for us and just makes everyone smile.” Mindy didn't realize just how many lives he'd touched until the employees decided that they needed to do something for him for his birthday.

   She asked him what he wanted for his birthday, and he told her that he wanted some new headphones and some 8-track tapes. She posted this on Facebook and added that he also likes the Cincinnati Reds, the Cincinnati Bengals and that he loves hot sauce. The community both inside and outside the mall pulled through, so she told him to make sure that he came to the mall on his birthday.

   Shelby Sarven, another employee at Kay's who also works with mall security, said that Roscoe is an honorary member of the security team. He even has his own number and badge - number 88, again because of the Dukes of Hazard. Roscoe comes into security first and “clocks in” but reminds “Number 20” that he has to be “ready to leave post” by 2:38 p.m. every day to catch his bus back home to Scope Towers. “Number 20” is mall security director, Derek Morrison. While “on duty” Roscoe pushes shopping carts back to where they belong and picks up all the red folders to take back to the office. Sarven gushed that Roscoe has “such a kind heart. Everything makes him smile. Everything makes him happy.”

   The week before his birthday, many people had already given him lovely gifts. It was so much that he couldn't carry it on the bus, so Morrison loaded it into his truck and took it to him.

   The owner of the home store in the mall found a huge card that he brought in to Mindy for mall staff to sign. Mindy said that he had originally begun working at the mall as a teenager and remembered Roscoe coming around even then. Many of the mall workers came in to sign the card.

   Tri-State Pawn brought in some Beats headphones. Someone brought in a case full of 8 track tapes. The mall office staff got him some Cincinnati Reds merchandise including pennants and a Funko pop figure.

   Someone also gave Mindy a $100 bill to buy stuff for him. She saw a city bus parked at Walmart and asked the driver if she knew Roscoe. The driver said, “Everybody knows Roscoe!” Mindy said that she asked about the fares and found out that he pays 75 cents to come to the mall and 75 cents back home. He also brings a packed lunch with him. She used the money to go to the bus station and purchase five bus passes worth 30 bus rides each. Mindy said the outpouring of support from the community shows “just how much he has poured out and touched people's lives.”

   When it's time to leave each day to catch his bus, the mall security escorts him to his bus stop. But he first stops at Kay's to tell them he's leaving and gives everyone a hug goodbye.

   Most of the stores in the mall did something for Roscoe for his birthday. When he came to “clock in” on Thursday morning, he had his card, Reds gear, headphones, and 8-tracks waiting on him. He also had a cake, balloons, new clothes, and other gifts as well as having his mall family to celebrate with. His gifts took up almost an entire wall. Roscoe was thrilled with everything that he received and once again smiled so big that everyone else smiled too.