Leroy Marcus Cook was born March 20, 1986, to Terrance and Yolanda Cook. At the time of Leroy's birth, Yolanda worked at a department store as a cashier, and Terrance worked for a local trucking company with high hopes of someday owning his own trucking outfit. He now owns and operates the same small company he once worked for.
While Leroy was growing up, his parents couldn't afford everything they wanted for their son, but they did the best they could. Even so, he was a happy child and had lots of friends to play with in his neighborhood. All his pals called him Roy, and the nickname stuck.
During his elementary school years, Roy discovered the difference between kids with wealthy parents and kids that didn't have much. He envied those rich kids and wanted the things they had. When Roy was 13, he and two of his friends were accused of stealing money from the teacher's desk, but nothing could be proved.
Roy's thirst for material things grew throughout his teen years, and in high school, he and his gang of friends dabbled in a life of petty crime. Once they started smoking pot, they soon discovered there was good money in the cannabis trade. It wasn't long before Roy was arrested for possession of marijuana.
Roy was sent to a juvenile detention center for six weeks, and when he came back, he told his parents he had learned his lesson and promised he would never do or sell drugs again. It was a struggle, but Roy finally managed to finish high school.
After graduation, he worked at several odd jobs and generally stayed out of trouble. He passed his time working at a service station and taking short trips to Wall Doxey State Park on his days off. He liked the beautiful scenery, and he loved getting away from his job. The park seemed like a great place to work.
During one conversation with the local park ranger, he discovered a high school diploma and a little luck could get you a job collecting fees at the park gate or working at the campgrounds. He applied the very next day, but there were no openings.
Volunteering until a job came open was an option, so on his one day off from the service station Roy worked the grounds at the park. He loved his volunteer work and finally was hired on to collect fees at the park gate.