Cliff Chard, the manager of Adventures Unlimited, a bookstore and news stand in Long Beach's Belmont Shore, was running the gamut of emotion Saturday in the aftermath of Andres Escobar's shooting death in Medellin, Colombia.
Last week, there was a message-board sign in the store's window, questioning what would be worse: Colombian players "facing your coke- and death-dealing sponsors when you get back home" or the Knicks' John Starks having to deal with the New York media after losing to Houston in the NBA finals.
"I was mortified," Chard told columnist Chuck Culpepper of the Lexington Herald-Leader on Saturday. "I am, for better or worse, the author of that sign. I was mortified.
"Of course, I didn't feel responsible, but I felt really bad about it. Obviously, it was tongue-in-cheek, and to have the reality happen was just really sad."
A friend of Chard's from Colombia chided him after learning about the message board in the window.
"He said I was perpetuating the myth," Chard said. "I was not happy in the '60s when people would come here from other countries and feel that (Richard) Nixon and the Vietnam War were indicative of all of our country. This is certainly nothing I can gloat over."