New York Times Portraits of Grief
With a shake of a shoulder and a laugh, Pops could lift just about any spirit, in the Edenwald section of the Bronx or back home in Kingston, Jamaica. He would share a reggae song with his 12 godchildren, or with friends at the D&B Auto Repair and Diagnostic Center over a beer and a fish. His laughter even warmed 2 World Trade Center, where on the 85th floor he last practiced the drywaller's art.
Many in his wide circle never knew his name was Derrick Arthur Green. It was just Pops, the 44-year-old man whose reply to anger was to smile and say, in properly clipped Jamaican English, "Just leave that out, mon. Come, let's go." The next minute everyone was smiling.
He laughed away the rough patches of 10 immigrant years courting his wife, Melrose, settling in enough to marry in 1995 and make a life for them on Amundson Avenue. Weekend evenings, on visits with the family of his "second mother" — Cynthia Edwards, an old friend from his Jamaica days — he was likely at some point to jump up from his chair and, along with a favorite Bob Marley tape, sing: "One love, one heart. Let's get together and feel all right." And they always did.