We’ve enjoyed hearing from Mallard Benton this month in the Forward Day By Day reflections for October. This month’s writings sparked an unexpected connection. We received this letter from a reader to pass on to Mr. Benton:
I am fairly sure you are the man I have remembered for more than 40 years.
As a high school senior at Briarwood High School in East Point, Georgia, I worked at the bookseller at Greenbrier Mall. I believe it was a B. Dalton Bookseller. The store manager was an African-American man. He had a deep knowledge and love of books that he shared readily with his employees and the store’s patrons. He had a gentle energy. It was my first job, and the experience left me believing managers made a positive impact in the world. And while not distinctive at the time (thanks to parents and an Episcopal church), working for a wonderful African-American man surely shaped my world view.
That start in work life shaped my career. This year, I am a fellow in Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative, following a 30-year career in higher education and a business education and experience.
I think that man may have been you.
I’d love to connect if you have the time and energy.
Mallard confirmed he was, in fact, Beth’s supervisor all those years ago. Praise God for the connections that these words of reflection can bring!