It was the dawn of a new century as the world was preparing to experience YK2000. There existed many concerns and the entire world wanted answers to doubting new questions as the nineties moved out of the way to make room for the year 2000. Would the World Wide Web be able to handle the transition as the clock of civilization struck midnight? Time had been program to a timer that few back then understood but one glitch in the system could set in motion events never before experienced by mankind.
It was a new century for a new man. I found myself in the John Lennon Suite in this fabulous historical downtown hotel in Seattle. Battered, confused and disoriented, I was in pursuit of a little “R and R” for the soul. Coming out of my own forty years of wilderness in the desert and in need for a little rest, restoration, recovery and re-building, I was mesmerized at the beauty of the room. Reportedly John Lennon of the famed Beatles had once slept in this room. It was a piece of heaven locked behind some elegant doors (and I had the key) that allowed me to see how the rich and famous lived on a daily basis.
“Room service” said the voice outside of the doors as my prearranged time for breakfast had hit the magical hour. This distinguish gentleman, standing tall and looking sharp and spiffy held the tray with one hand and address me with a few words calling me by my surname with the title “Mr.” There exist no shame in his game at all as it was strictly business and he meant to serve and please as his craft had been masterfully learned. Just as smooth and gallantly as he entered the suite in the same manner was his departure.
My nephew had given me the royal treatment as he was also one of the employees at this elegant hotel. He had made the transition from St Louis to Seattle and had recently received a little press in the daily newspaper as being the “Mayor of Seattle.” Al never wanted to be a “bell hop” opening car doors, taking the guest luggage and always having a smile regardless of how his day was going. But a mentor had explained to him in St. Louis that this was “his stage” and while on stage he had to perform. Perform he did and so well that he had been dubbed “The Mayor.” There is a moral to the story as Al and others learned that whatever you become, become the “best.”
Al informed me that the maitre d’ was known as “Jimmy Mac” who I later met when he was off script. He had refused a “tip” stating that your nephew doesn’t play. “Al quit school because he didn’t like recess” Jimmy Mac replied. Al later gave me the story on Jimmy “Mac” who is a concierge of music and has a story that only he can tell. TIPS mean “tip if pleased with service” I later learned from this extraordinary gentleman that had mastered his hotel craft under the canopy of discrimination, hard knock and hard times. The road had not been easy. In years past, black men named by white America as “George” were part of the Pullman Porters (train porters) that became so strong they help change American History. The movie, A Thousand Men named George dramatize their struggles and accomplishments. The “Georges” of the day were unsung Afro American Heroes. And so were the “Jimmy Macs.” A Thousand Men named “Jimmy Mac.”