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A Buda-Ful Tribute
Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 09:47 PM CDT
In three months, hardhats and bulldozers will be replaced by half pipes and heel flips, when this site is home to Buda's first skate park.
"It really is something that the community needs," said Todd Ruge, Mayor of Buda.
And while you'll never catch them on a board, Rebecca and Tony Norris will be as much a part of this park as the rails and ramps. The facility will bear the name of their late son.
"He'd be very proud of it, that's for sure," said Tony Norris, Jackson's father. "We would probably have a hard time keeping him out of it."
Jackson Norris received his first skateboard when he was seven. By age 10, he was hooked.
"Snow, rain - it didn't matter what the weather was," said Rebecca, Jackson's mother. "He skated every day."
He'd make the 25-mile trip to Lockhart with his best friend, because Lockhart had a skate park and Buda did not. On June 21, 2011 - Norris, carrying his skateboard while trying to cross Highway 183, was struck by a pickup.
"It was 2:17 when I picked up the phone," recalled Rebecca. "It was Jackson's best friend's mother."
Jackson, just 15 years old, died the following day.
"What he did in a short period of time [on this earth] was remarkable," said a tearful Tony Norris.
While Rebecca and Tony are left without a son, and Reagan without a big brother, Jackson did not leave this world without making an difference. Seven of Norris' organs were saved and donated to seven different recipients. Ginny Russ drove from San Antonio for Thursday's ceremony. She received Jackson's right lung.
"I owe my life to Jackson, Rebecca and Tony," Russ said. "I wouldn't have missed this. I just wouldn't have missed this."
Norris's best trick wasn't even on a board. With his smile, Jackson perfected the art of the pick-me-up.
"He had the gift of hugging and he had the gift of laughter," said Rebecca. "He could make anything funny. We laughed every day. We laughed every hour."
Dedicated to the memory of the teen who could brighten anyone's day, this fall, the Jackson Tyler Norris Memorial Skate Park will make Buda a brighter place.
by Adam Winkler
To learn more about organ donation:
Texas Organ Sharing Alliance
Donate Life Texas