Person to person — impact: Goulash

I chaired a committee that met monthly for a couple of years and therefore it was my responsibility to create the agenda. Instead of including a category at the end of the agenda such as “Miscellaneous,” I tried to personalize the agenda by using different words. One of my favorites was Goulash, which has various meanings. The one I chose was: “a mixture of heterogeneous elements: jumble. “ (Webster’s Dictionary). Since this column addresses more than one topic, I felt “Goulash” was fitting.

Of the 127 columns I have written, the ones that meant the most to me are interviews I have done with people or people who have been kind to me over the years. These people are not necessarily wealthy executives but more average people that are making a difference in the world by brightening the day of one person at a time. I hope to do more of these stories in the future. One of those people is GEORGE HOLSTON, who along with other responsibilities, worked as a service concierge at the Ashbridge Shopping Center Chick-Fil-A, in Downingtown. He started in 2008, when the restaurant opened. Barb and I have been there many times, mostly for lunch, when George was working. George, a big man with a big heart, was not in the best of health and was in his mid-sixties. He was the first person Barb and I looked for as we entered the restaurant. George passed away on February 13th. He will be greatly missed. I can still hear his voice: “How have you been? Did you have a good week? Do you need anything? A refill on your drink? We have a new product. Let me give you a card so you can get a free one next time you come in.” If he wasn’t too busy, he would either stand and talk with you or invite himself to have a seat to talk a minute longer with you. Because of his demeanor and his talk, it was quite evident that he was a Christian. He knew Jesus Christ as his Savior and knew the Lord prepared a place in heaven for him when he died.

I am on the email list for this Chick-Fil-A. I was saddened when I opened their email to find out of George’s death. I hardily thank the management of the store because the notice included an announcement that Wednesday, February 22nd they were having a Spirit Day at the restaurant and 10% of all sales between the hours of 11:00 AM and 8:00 PM would go to George’s wife, who is wheelchair bound. Of course, we went there for lunch, where they had extra staff for the occasion. There were many photos of George with kids at the store from special occasions, a large card to sign and leave a message and a box to drop a note in or to contribute some money. The operator of the store, Jay Walsh, was also there to greet the customers. We returned for lunch a week later and the store was still celebrating George’s life with information about George, a ten question multiple choice test about him and tip jars to go to George’s family. Obviously, George’s life touched many, many more people than just Barb and me.

A BIG THANKS: The six employees I have worked with of Berks-Mont News (the umbrella company of five newspapers under their banner, the main one being the Tri-County Record) have been wonderful to work with since my first column in the fall of 2012. I have some other projects I would like to focus on for a while. Therefore I talked with a special person at the paper, who approved a “mini-furlough” for me and indicated I come back to write future articles. I can’t put into words how much this little journey has meant to me. The people I have met because of the columns, the books I read for book reviews and the comments from so many people who read the columns provided me a platform to speak out about what matters to me, reminisce about wonderful things (and not so wonderful things) that happened to me and made me a more caring and loving person. I am not saying: “Goodbye” but rather: “Talk with you later.”

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God Bless,

Jeff

Jeff Hall, of Honey Brook, contributes columns to Berks-Mont Newspapers. Questions/comments may be directed to jeffreyhall77@comcast.net