Roland "Commander" Sykes
June 1st, 1953 - March 10th, 2008
Wizard, Bit Twiddler, Philosopher, Teacher, and most fun of
The Bus Driver for ADAPT
From: Ramona Harvey
My experience and thoughts about Roland
I only met Roland recently, (within the last few years), but I did get a chance to meet him, and talk with him and more importantly to learn from him. The opportunity I got to meet Roland Sykes was one that money could not buy, but I did not only just get a chance to meet him, I got to know him a little bit, and for that I am glad.
Had my life been different, I might have met him at all, or I might have just been one of those people that got to ride in his bus once, and thought that was kind of cool. But I decided that people were important, and that people really did matter, and I decided that I would try and make a difference for people with disabilities in Indiana. I did not know the road I was getting on when I decided to become involved with the Indiana SILC. Had I known I probably would have been too afraid to take the first step, and I would never have got to know Roland in the way that I did.
I got to meet Roland at an Action, but I got to know Roland when he came to my state to support me and many other people in the state of Indiana with disabilities that are trying to get their voice heard. I am not anyone in particular, I am known as the former secretary of the Indiana SILC who got removed from office for attending an ADAPT action, and the person who had her first amendment constitutional rights violated when she tried to read a statement of truth. I am also the founder of www.onecandream.com.
But the point is, when I tried to introduce myself at a SILC meeting a year ago, they tried to have me arrested,. but when I introduced myself to Roland Sykes, he shook my hand and invited me along for a ride. I will always remember that.
I only really got to know Roland as well as I did because I was some kid from Evansville Indiana that got in over my head, and was crazy enough to stay there. But I am glad I got to meet him and learn from him, and that I got to sit at the table with him not once, but more then once. He believed that I mattered, and that what I was doing mattered, and he provided support where he could. Many people here in Indiana appreciate that.
I am not one of those people that knew him for years, but I am one of those people that he supported, and I feel honored. Because he did a lot of great things and helped a lot of people, and what he did mattered. I got to be a small part of that, and he allowed me to learn from him, and for that I am thankful.
Friend of Roland Sykes
Founder of onecandream.com