Farewell Atley

by the Naturalight Staff

At approximately 5:45 PM on November 27, 1985 attending doctors were called to the side of Emogene Usher. At her side was husband and designated cheerleader for the occasion, Atley Usher Sr. At approximately 6:00 PM attending physician announced the arrival of a spanking new 7 pound 6 ounce baby boy, Atley Usher Jr. Doctors were astounded to find a 4 inch appendage protruding from his right butt cheek only found previously in Tasmania pygmies. While the doctors thought that they had eradicated the deformity in the late 19th century, they were pleased to discover the only existing genetic link to the "we only snorkel not dive" tribe.

After a quick and painless resection, Atley Usher Jr. was returned to his parents. They found him to be a happy and precocious youngster who brought loads of sunshine and soiled diapers to their day. Because Atley was so advanced for his age, he quickly outgrew his peers and his only intellectual companion became a sunburnt Mexican pinata, Senor Rosado. Forced to separate from his best friend at the age of 3, Atley was sent to Solid Rock Academy kicking, bawling and screaming, comforted only by Senor Rosado's right arm in his yellow lunch box.

Defying gravity in some ways but not others, his hair grew steadily upward and his stomach grew outwards. Thus began the period he refers to as his pudgy years. Mature in mind but still a kid at heart, Atley enjoyed riding with Santa late into the nights until, that is, the inevitable goodbye to primary school at age 10. Atley's 4th form banquet date, Trecia Stuart, remembers that he was quiet and smart, a good dancer, who joked a lot. Unfortunately, this night summarized his social life at Ecumenical so the author cannot expand further.

At the end of his 4 years there, Atley was recognized as Stann Creek Ecumenical High School's Valedictorian. Arthur remembers his speech: "The most memorable event with Atley would have to be graduation night. We were the millennium class and that night Atley gave a metaphysical discourse that I can't honestly say I remember in detail, but I know my Lord was glorified throughout it. The impression his speech left on me was profound; the spirit he had revealed to me in one to one discussions he now was secure enough to shout from the rooftops. Later that same month I started speaking on the radio, as fearless as he was on the night we said goodbye to Ecumenical."

We couldn't find anyone to testify to the veracity of this claim but Atley has been heard to say that soon after high school he moved to Belize City in a house, all by himself, and at the end of two years graduated suma cum laude from St. John's College Sixth Form. SJC declined to comment on this matter and reiterated that all students who may have been exposed to such an element had received counseling.

One person who can associate Atley with SJC is an individual who chooses to remain anonymous. She remembers that when SJC's computer class visited Naturalight in 2002, she spotted a handsome young man at the edge of the crowd. He had come in late and loitered at the fringes carrying a curly haired little girl and joking with classmates.

Okay, so that was Atley's life before Naturalight. How has Naturalight been since Atley?

Therese and Tony had this to say:
We were short-handed and looking through the letters of application and found Atley's resume. Having been burnt by more than one young male it was against our better judgement that we called him in for an interview. He was quietly confident; Hubert said he was a good kid; we knew his parents were nice but still we were reluctant , hell, he was ONLY16. But... we needed some help and figured we could try him for the summer under strict supervision. I told him about our reluctance and hired him at a daily rate.

In the ensuing months we forgot how old he was (or wasn't) so much so that on his next birthday we made a big "to do" about it being his 18th birthday and celebrated it as such. He never said a word and then when time came for elections and I was bugging him about registering he reminded me that he wasn't yet 18. In response to my question as to how he could have let us have an 18th birthday party he said that his application letter said how old he was and we had even talked about it so he figured he wouldn't spoil our fun.

Then there was Therese's birthday party where he got very "happy" and seemed to thoroughly enjoy standing around the kitchen counter drinking cognac and smoking a cigar and talking non-stop. By the time we dropped him home I was sure his parents wouldn't let him in or that they would call us the next day to chastise us for "contributing to the delinquency of a minor".

Our wishes for Atley:
- be passionate about what you do
- so make sure that you are doing something you are passionate about oh,
and there'll always be a place for you at Naturalight. :)

Aurora adds:
On occasion the music may get loud and the tempers may flair. But through all that you remain a key player. Your talents are will definitely take to you new horizons.

Shawn wanted Atley to know:
One thing I've learned from Atley is that age doesn't really matter. Even though he is "very young" he shows much maturity for his "age" except of course when it comes to the little brown bottle (guinness) then he acts his real age (just kidding). The chips and dip you ask about at every junior meeting, well, check me whenever you return, and I'll have it for you - hopefully. Take Care, Shawn

Gayle chimed in:
Good Luck Atley! I'll never forget the moment when I knocked on your room door the morning after the Tourism Night Awards at the Biltmore Plaza and saw you staggering at the doorway completely dazed and stripped down to your boxers.

Pat didn't want to be left behind:
Do your best, reach for the stars, things like that. Right now my brain is gone.

Davis preferred to share with you in private and said: I told him everything I had to tell him this morning.

Peitra had a confession to make:
Last night when you met me at your house, I was actually there to get pictures of you but you came too soon and I had to find a lie to cover. This afternoon when you copied over that file into my Temporary / PA folder, I was hoping you hadn't seen or looked through the Atley folder that had all the candid shots we could find of you. This evening when Arthur was trying to scan an image, I was hoping you would leave so we could do something special for somebody who is just that. I am honored to have known you. Now go create your destiny.

brother maaan..
what can i say..hmmm..
you seem to have a handle on everything.. except maybe for diving. but no worries there.
just go do what you have to do bro. do it and do it damn good. make no excuses.. just go full tilt. life is to be enjoyed.
so rock on wit yu bad self.
and memba.. anything worth doing, is worth doing.. AGAIN. =)

  • Special Thanks to:    to the Usher Family

  • Brought to you courtesy of the team at Naturalight
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