Tuesday, September 1, 2009


This is a true story.

Years ago I worked for TJ Maxx in the corporate office in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Leo Beaudette was a young man in his mid-twenties. The son of an American GI and a Samoan mother, he was a slim built and handsome young man who looked like he stepped out of GQ magazine. He had long jet black hair, which he pulled back during business hours.

I had the privilege of being his Supervisor.

One morning before work I saw Leo sitting by himself in the cafeteria. I poured myself a cup of coffee and went over to sit with him.

“Mind if I sit with you?” I asked.

“Sure,” he answered. “You know Kris, when I was a kid I actually believed if I tried hard enough I could fly.”

I joked with him and said that’s why a lot of kids jump off their garages and break their legs.

“I know,” he said, “But yesterday on my way home I got that feeling again. I pulled off the highway, got out of my car, and ran down the breakdown lane as fast as I could.”

I knew the route Leo took home. The Mass Turnpike is a busy six lane highway. I pictured him running down the breakdown lane; tie flipping over his shoulder, hair streaming behind him. I could only imagine what the other commuters speeding by on their way home must have thought of this crazy young man.

“And you know what?” he said looking me deep in the eye. “For a second I thought I almost did it!”

Implausible as it seemed there was something in his spirit that was certain of the possibility.

 “Leo,” I said as I looked back into his dark chocolate eyes, “I need more people like you working for me.”

© 2009

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