Our new blog feature is called A Freckled Mind. One of Boomcast’s most inspiring users goes by the name of Freckles, and she has allowed us to share her stories. Her experiences in life, both positive and painful have allowed her an amazing perspective we are thrilled to share with you all. Enjoy!
The bakery is full of the sugary sweet aroma of confections made to perfection. Sitting in the corner of this bakery reading his newspaper and drinking his coffee is an older gentleman with a heart of gold. I met him when I was thirteen and I have been making the extra long trip from my new home to his bakery ever since. I will not go to another out of a sense of loyalty and respect.
The very day I met him for the first time, I was on a shopping trip with my family. The little bakery sat beside the shopping district and it’s big windows displayed all the colorful confections you could dream of. The big glass rounded display cases were filled with goodies on pieces of wax paper and silver trays. The man behind them was a jovial smiling magician of sweets. He had a glow about him of joy and laughter that was contagious. He flirted with my mom and made her laugh then we sat with our piece of cake by the back window and began talking about school.
At the same time another couple came in the door and sat toward the front window. They were talking when I overheard the woman say, “Poor pitiful creature.” Standing outside the window was a man with a sign that read, “Need a job, Need to Eat, Help me please.” The man sitting with the woman then noticed the man and said, “Look he’s even dragging that poor dog around with him.” There sitting at the man’s feet outside was a dog.
My mom began searching her purse for money and couldn’t find any as we had just spent the last of her cash for the day on our piece of cake. I could see her regret, because she wanted to help even in just a small way, yet was unable to do it with money. The couple who had been sitting up front got up to leave and as they left, I noticed they avoided looking at the man with the sign and his dog. They just held hands and continued on.
Then I saw the baker go over to his window and put up a “Hiring Now” sign hand-written on a piece of paper. As he turned around he gave my mom and I a wink. Then he said, “I like to help those, that are willing to help themselves too.” My mom nodded and I just sat there trying to figure out what that meant.
I saw the man across the street immediately come over at the first sight of that sign. I watched him talk to the dog, obviously telling him to wait right there on the sidewalk by the bakery. He rubbed his hands on his pants, sat down his sign, adjusted his clothes and brushed them off as best as he could. He fingercomed his hair in the reflection of the window and then came inside. The baker greeted him as if he were a customer and hadn’t seen him outside before.
The man then inquired about the “Hiring Now” sign and the baker said he needed someone willing to haul the heavy sugar and flour bags and clean the windows and display cases regularly every morning and closing. The man jumped at the opportunity and was hired. Then the baker said, “Great! Here’s some danishes on the house come back at closing 7 tonight and you can get started.”
I watched the man practically bow out the door, then skip to his dog and give him the first danish. My mom then went over the baker and said she was grateful people like him were in the world and we would be back.
About a month later I visited again, but this time with my dad. Again the baker was behind the glass, and he gave me a wink of recognition. Then he called back, “Hey Sam! Customers!” Sam, came out and it was the same man with his dog from my previous visit. He greeted us and helped us with our order to go and as my dad paid him, I noticed a dog bed in the far corner of the bakery near the cashier stand where a table had been moved to make room for it. A small gate was set up in front of a “play area” of sorts. There was that same dog, happily wagging his tail with the sign “mascot” on his little gate.
I go to that same bakery all the time now as an adult. The baker has aged significantly in this time, and whenever I visit he is just one of the customers now. He lets Sam run the rest. He still to this day greets me with a wink. He is one of the most motivational figures in my memories from childhood and it only took one experience to see how generosity should be done. I learned what it means to, “Help those who help themselves.” It’s to not give a hand out to someone too lazy to try; but to help those who just keep trying and can’t find a hand reaching out.