American Ace

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"Closing down the store was shutting down a piece of Russell," says Brian Blakeney, one of Enloe's oldest friends. "Thinking about closing felt like such a personal failure to him. It just got to be too much. He wanted to be a picker again."

In a way, Joan Cooper thinks it's fitting that Enloe died young, since he never played by anybody's rules but his own. The coroner classified Enloe's death an accident, and that's what the Coopers believe it was. "I'm not a street-corner preacher, but he and I had talked about God," Les says. "He believed in God, and I know he wouldn't knowingly commit suicide."

"I think he was probably self-medicating and trying to erase pain and worry," Joan adds. "I don't think anyone can stand in his shoes and understand the pressure that guy was feeling."

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Jessica Centers