Friday, August 17, 2012

Rainbow Flags and Wine Bottles

The thing I admire about my pastry chef....Hennessy, or one of the many things I admire about her is her even temperament.

Pastry people have a tendency to have a flair for the dramatic.

But Hennessy....well she has the demeanor of that cowboy you see that rides into town all, confident and collected.

You could give Hennessy a dozen roses, or throw a rock at her head and she's pretty much give you that grimace that never lets you know quite what she's thinking.

8:41 a.m. this morning -

Hennessy -

"You got any errands to run?"

Klecko -


Hennessy -

"I forgot my bottle of wine for honey-wine jam for the Sunday event, it's at my house, but if you are busy...."

Then she walks into the production area to bake products for the Farmers Market.

Now I've been to Hennessy's house a couple of times to drop her off.

She has a large family that often times rotates vehicles throughout the day.

The odd part of the story you are about to hear is........

She only lives 2 or 3 miles away from me, but her house is tucked into one of the few Saint Paul pockets that I haven't had a reason to visit.

OK....she tells me that she called her husband, he's gonna put the bottle on the porch right?

And their house is no more than 10 minutes away.

By the time I got out off the production floor Hennessy was elbow deep in chocolate.

So here goes the little bread truck......

Down the highway -

Take a left -

Take a right at the Dairy Queen...........

Now as I begin to troll down her street, I remember - remembering that she lives next to a house that has a rainbow pride flag.

Of all the people you have ever met.....Klecko may be the most directionally challenged guy you know.

I mean it's so bad I practically have to use a G.P.S. at night to go pee.

Some people have that internal compass......but not me.

So all I have to do is find the rainbow flag right?

Well what I'm about to tell you almost seems like a build up for a Twilight Zone episode.......

As I cruise down her Avenue at "Drive By" speed, I made a remarkable observation.......

"There's my Pride flag." I say to myself......

"Hmmmm but her house is next to the flag house, and Hennessy's house has a porch, but theres no porch here.".

So then the Last American Baker cranes his neck, sports a look of befuddlement, and peers further down the street.

"Oh...dude, there's another flag".

And then I laughed because in all of Saint Paul I'll bet I've only seen 6-7-maybe....maybe 8 Pride Flags in a decade, and here on this street I run into 2..

"Oh Sweet Polish Christ." I exclaimed as I glanced down the same side of the street of the next block.

There was a couple more rainbow rags flapping in the wind, and then another....and another, and I'm not making this up...yeah 3 more.

I'm not gonna lie, I sat stunned.

You know what I mean, we are all adults here.

My surprise had nothing to do with anything revolving around gay issues or gay neighbors,,,,I was just freaked out that this little hood, so close to mine, had it own identity.

 When you look up and see more rainbow flags than the Castro District in the mid 80's, you have to be impressed at the commitment to unify.

If my neighborhood was on fire, and there was only one bucket of water, all the peeps on Hartford Avenue might choose to burn alive instead of fellow shipping with their neighbors.

Klecko gets the wine -

Klecko drives back -

Klecko hands Hennessy the wine -

Klecko asks Hennessy.....

"I knew you had a Pride flag next to your house, but so do what????? like 72 other houses?"

Hennessy just gave me that Hennessy look and reported.....

"We live in a Gay Friendly neighborhood."

I've gotta tell ya, I've been thinking about this all day, and now even into the night.

For 20 years in the Capitol City I've sat in on countless board meetings, attended a dozen churches, coached 90% of the kids enrolled in Little League....

And in so many of those experiences, the collective almost never could reach a consensus on anything.

But yet in this small little pocket, in an area that receives little outside attention, there exists 3 consecutive blocks of folks of people that find it important enough to hang Pride flags to lets the gay community know that they have their support.

This act of kindness and clarity really inspired me.

Saints of Warsaw........we can all learn a lot from the people on Hennessy Street.   


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