Thursday, October 16

Curiosity and My New Friend Ray

Those who know me say I often insist that curiosity is the most under-appreciated emotion.  I am going to say it again.  Curiosity transforms you from apathy, judgment, or a sense that you know it all to a positive sense of wonder.  Here is today’s case in point:  The clerk at the West Marine store where I shop for boating stuff has a beautiful, deep voice. His name tag said his name is RAY.  I asked Ray about his resonant bass voice, and what I learned this afternoon on a simple errand was fascinating. 

My clerk, Ray, was the first African American to sing at the original Grand Ole Opry.  He and his group were not on the schedule, and why should they be—no black Americans had ever been allowed to sing on stage back in the early ‘60s.  Minnie Pearl (anyone remember her hats?) heard him singing and insisted they go up on stage and sing—which they did, to a very appreciative audience.  And thus another barrier was broken. And I would have missed knowing something very special about my salesman Ray if I had not been curious enough to ask a simple question.  Everyone has a story.  Before the day’s out, connect with someone new and ask about his or hers.

No comments: