Monday, January 14, 2013

Going Out in Style

We are told many stories about youth gone bad, and often it's easy to color a whole generation by that series of bad apples. That's why it is so important to tell the good stories and make sure they are remembered. I want to take this opportunity to tell you about a young man who truly inspired me. Jimmy Luna worked with me at our restaurant until he passed of heart complications a couple of weeks ago. There are many reasons why Jimmy would never make the front page of any newspaper or the cover of a magazine, but at the same time that is also a sad editorial on the way society picks it's heroes.

The thing I remember most about Jimmy Luna was the smile that always seemed to be permanently engrained upon his face. In a restaurant you get busy occasionally, especially during busy seasons in Branson. Tempers can flare and cooks and service staff can get short with one another. There was no time when I found Jimmy involved in any of that tension. He seemed to always take pride in what he did regardless of how small the task seemed to be. When I saw him he always said hello to me, and genuinely seemed to care how I was feeling at any given point in time. He was kind to everyone around him and I can't remember anyone that ever had an ill word to say about him.

I waited on him and his sister the night that he passed. All of his words were seasoned with politeness and and that smile never seemed to leave his face. I was busy at the time and I found myself wishing I could have spent more time with them. It seems when we wait on employees often they get the short end of the hospitality stick when it gets steady. I just remember him being genuinely grateful that I took the time to take care of him.

I am a better person because I knew Jimmy Luna, and the impression he has left upon the lives of those who knew him will be filled with images of his smile that radiated through any room he was in. His impact upon my life has been that of true inspiration and I wanted to remember that in some way. Thank you Jimmy, for teaching us how to do life with class and happiness.