Tonight I stopped by Subway to order dinner for daughter and I. Tonight is movie night and she loves Subway. In particular, she loves a six inch Turkey on flatbread with American cheese and mayo. She also likes pickles and salami on the side. Henry Bailey took my order at Subway. He always takes good care of of my daughter and remembers her name and order every-time we visit. Henry and I got a chance to “chop it up” tonight. (those not familiar with phrase “chop it up” please expand your friend base and learn more). I asked Henry if he is looking forward to hopefully not wearing a mask in a few more months. He and I both said YES! I told Henry I was just at a DeLasalle Islanders JV game and that the players are now wearing masks. We started talking about basketball. I told Henry that I go and watch DeLasalle JV games sometimes because “my guy” is the head coach for the JV. He tells me he use to play with Alan Anderson, who played at DeLasalle, on touring teams. I then asked Henry did he know my guy DC who is the coach of the JV squad. He said YES! He let me know they he used to play with and against DC on many teams. We connected over something in common. I even told him Henry that way back in the day I played ball in Detroit with BJ Armstrong and that I was pretty good. :). I told him my boys and I even won the Gus Macker in ‘94 here in St. Paul. He seemed impressed or he made me feel like he was. 🙂
Henry and I kept talking as he made my daughter’s sandwich and my salad bowl (trying to eat healthy). He said that he stopped playing ball awhile ago in order to follow his passion. Henry said that he is a chef and was trained at culinary school. Henry is starting a food truck and it will be ready to go by August. Henry is going to make some special sandwiches for his truck and he beamed with joy as he talked about his food truck. I told Henry that in my current job at Children’s Minnesota, I can set him up to be a vendor at our hospitals and clinics. He was excited. He said he is looking forward to having his own business and making great food. Henry checked me out and I gave him a a monetary tip. I also asked him if he knew Coach McKenzie, Coach Jamil and others. Of course he said yes. Henry told me to tell my daughter hello and he said he looks forward to seeing us again.
I ask that you Meet and Chop It Up with a Henry in your life. While you may be rushing to sign up for Antiracism training, joining the Minnesota Business Coalition for Racial Equity, donating to racial equity and social justice groups and trying to eliminate years or racism and oppression quickly, I suggest you slow down long enough to meet a Henry. I need you to talk to someone and get to know their dreams. I need you to find something in common and develop a relationship with someone not in your circle. I need you to commit to networking and not to just benefit you, but also benefit others as well. I need you to focus less on reading and learning about racism and what not to do. I need you to focus more on what you can do and find a Henry in your life.
“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Let’s communicate and build community together. Stay tuned for Henry Bailey’s food truck and my investment in his future. Who are you getting to know and investing in? Let’s communicate, partner and make a real difference.