By Rolando Larraz
Last week I went to my office for the first time in several weeks and while I was sitting there all by myself, a beautiful young blond lady walked in with a big beautiful smile and said, “Hi Rolando,” and as I was getting up from my chair to welcome her, she hugged me and gave me a big kiss.
I have no idea who this sweet young lady was and I guess she realized that I was wondering who she was so she said, “You don’t remember me, do you?”
I was waiting for my friend and my landlady, so I knew this woman was not her, but right after my fast thinking flash, in walked Shannon with another big smile (I hate mysterious, big, beautiful smiles coming out of beautiful women) and she asked me if I didn’t recognize her friend, to which I responded with a truthful “No.”
“It’s Jessica Williams!” Shannon said to me while Jessica and I were embracing and hugging each other. It’s been twenty years since I saw Jessica last, when I went to visit her at the Clark County Detention Center before the trial that left her twenty years behind the walls of a Nevada Prison.
I don’t remember if she was days short of her twenty-first birthday or a few days after her birthday, but I remember a young lady very emotional and resenting what was happening to her.
During the trial I had the honor of meeting her family, her mother, father, and sister; they all were there to support and encourage her to have faith.
During her incarceration we talked on the phone a few times yet I never went to see her for a few different reasons. I believe that she enjoyed her family visits more than she would any old man that hardly knows her and besides, her family had to travel from Mexico to visit her and who was I to deprive her of the opportunity to be with her family?
All these years I believed that no one had more resentment for what had taken her to that ugly place and many times I quietly prayed for her without saying a word to any one.
You see as always, when I talk about Jessica Williams I got a little emotional and I don’t like to do that either in public or in private because it makes me feel weak and that was not good in my world while I was younger; I only showed tears in public once when I spoke at the funeral of my friend attorney, Bucky Buchannan, but that was an exception.
It was not an exception when my business partner, friend and attorney John Fadgen died. I did cry, but no one ever saw it. I was never good at showing my feelings, but I think the older I got the more understanding I could be and now I don’t see anything wrong with showing one’s sentiment or feelings.
I want to write the Jessica Williams story in this newspaper as bad as any other writer in this nation because I believe that the law was too strict in her case and she was over-punished.
In my humble opinion, Jessica Williams was used as a pawn to diminish the guilty from the county and the court system and I am going to leave it there until I get the OK from her to do so and I have the opportunity to speak to her again without getting emotional.
For now I want to show my public gratitude to my friend and landlord Shannon Leon for bringing Jessica to see me. She did not say that she was going to do this for me; she surprised me and I have no words to express my gratitude.
I should have known when I saw her SUV drive by and park on the side of my parking lot when she normally parks right in front as the “queen” she is.
Last week she parked on the side and pretended to be talking on the phone or doing something and sent Jessica all alone to surprise me.
And surprised I was and I thanked Shannon for that beautiful surprise; Shannon and I have talked about Jessica on endless occasions and always ended up agreeing that she is God’s gift to us.
I don’t know if she learned to be that way inside the penitentiary or she has always been the person who, regardless of what the situation is, how stressful it can be, or how drastic or dramatic the issue is, she always finds the good side of the bad picture and that is something that not many people can say is among their qualities.
Thank you Shannon, for being my friend, and thank you Jessica, for showing me qualities I never knew existed.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
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Rolando Larraz is Editor in Chief of the Las Vegas Tribune. His column appears weekly in this newspaper. To contact Rolando Larraz, email him at: Rlarraz@lasvegastribune.com or at 702-272-4634.