I have the good fortune of knowing two amazing people, among many...but these two have always been special to me. Paula, who worked with my wife and is great friends with her, as well as me...and her husband Johhny, a Veteran from the'Nam days, suffering with bad health but tough as nails.
This is an email she shared with my wife:
You never know what's going to happen in a day, pretty much like any other day. But we had the most awesome chance meeting with someone on our way home from the pain clinic in Waltham on Tuesday. We made our usual stop at Starbucks in Acton and were in the line waiting to order. A man ahead of us was at the counter at the time. When he turned around, he walked up to Johnny and handed him two Starbucks gift cards, shook his hand, and said "thank you so much for your service." Johnny wears baseball caps that show his military service, Navy ship, etc., and he was wearing his disabled American veteran hat that day. We were both so stunned by this man's out of the world kindness, both of us almost burst into tears. The man went back to his table.
While we were waiting for our orders, Johnny started talking with the man again, profusely thanking him for the gift cards, and the man continued with his kind words and asked if we had a few minutes. He said he was a musician, went out to his car, and came back with a CD of his music (awesome -- it's blues and jazz!). We were thanking him again for this nice gesture.
Finally, Johnny headed out the door and I still needed to add some cream to my coffee so I went to the counter to finish up. As I turned to leave, the man came up to me and handed me money and said to please buy something nice for Johnny with it. And then he gave me a hug and kissed my cheek. Once again stunned, I walked outside and told Johnny what happened and couldn't believe this either. It turned out that the man had handed me $60. I'm still shaking my head as I write this.
I had to look this guy up. His name is Ronnie Earl and his band is the Broadcasters. He has a Facebook page (of course), along with his band and a website with a couple of clips from the CD he gave us. Here's the link to his page with a couple of short clips from the CD we received. I happened to watch a longer clip a few days ago and was stunned by Ronnie's onstage persona and presence. He's the guy in the hat. Meeting him in person, he was quiet and almost shy, and I had no idea that we were in the presence of a musician of his caliber. We hope to have a chance to see Ronnie and the Broadcasters live and in person soon. And we're definitely paying this kindness forward.
Well, that brought me to tears! There are still big hearts in this world!!!
I took a moment to reflect on this, and and marvel at how one small selfless act at random can have such impact. It did on Paula and Johnny, I can tell. Perhaps it will you too.
I then listened to the YouTube vids on Ronnie's site. WOW!!! I know I'm buying anything I can get from him and his band.....
I'm going to take my wife to his Northampton, MA gig!
I would like to in part, pay this forward myself by asking and encouraging all members and site visitors to spread the news of Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters; to buy and enjoy their music; and if you see Ronnie in a club near you....thank him for paying it forward to a real American Hero.
All Music and Soundtracks
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