The World Needs More Henrys

#Writing101 Day Six: A Character-Building Experience

Today’s assignment is to write about one of the most interesting people I’ve met in 2014. The twist is to develop and shape the portrait further in a character study.

Henry, Strip District Meats

Henry – Butcher & Salesman “EXTRAordinaire” at Strip District Meats, Pittsburgh, PA

Henry is a pretty “ordinary” guy by all usual accounts.   But spend about five minutes with him, and I’ll bet you will feel differently.

Henry Strip District Meats

Henry chatting with Janet on our recent trip to the Strip District

If you would pass Henry on the street, you might smile and nod, but he wouldn’t particularly stand-out based on his physical appearance.

Henry is not tall, nor is he short.  He is an average height, average weight, middle-aged, African-American man whose skin is not extremely dark nor light, just a medium, warm cocoa color.  His arms are strong with muscles that show Henry works hard – not at the gym, but in life.  His hands are large and strong, but clean and manicured.  He has a bushy, but well-manicured mustache and a greying, tightly trimmed beard.   Henry’s cheeks are sprinkled with a scattering of freckles, his nose round and broad, his lips are full.  His eyes are the shade of strong espresso – one shines brightly, while the other twinkles as if in a permanent state of “winking.”

Henry Strip District Meats

Henry and Janet – Now we are all BFFs – that’s how Henry is

Henry is a butcher and salesman at Strip District Meats in Pittsburgh, PA.

When my friend, Janet, and I recently made a Trip to the Strip, we sauntered into Strip District Meats in search of some ground lamb Janet wanted for a new recipe for Greek Moussaka she was trying (which was DELISH by the way – she shared some with us!).

As we gazed through the glass encased shelves of meats ranging from smokey bacon and spicy sausages to plump chicken thighs and marbled delmonico steaks to boneless python (yep – you read that right… “boneless” python – because who likes  bones in their python?!??!!), a warm, cheerful male voice greeted us.

Enter Henry.

Enter delight.

Enter zest for life, passion for his job, expertise, dedication, knowledge.

Enter warmth and kindness.

Henry immediately engaged us from the word “Hello” with his twinkling eyes, the spring in his step, and his excitement to show us the lamb, all the way to talking me into paying $19.95 per pound (a steal on sale from the usual $32.95 per pound) for the ABSOLUTE best, most melt-in-your-mouth, cut like butter, tender Wagyu steaks I’ve ever eaten in my life.  (which Henry spent 15 minutes examining at least 30 different steaks before choosing just the right two for Marty and me)

Henry found the most perfect rack of lamb, which he offered to expertly and exquisitely cut into the most beautiful chops for Janet to share with her Dad.  His favorite, and her gift to him.

Who knew meat could be so intriguing?

Henry does – because he makes it that way.

Henry IS Strip District Meats.

Without Henry, our visit to this “butcher shop” would have been uneventful.

But WITH Henry…….

our visit to Strip District Meats was the HIGHLIGHT of our Trip to the Strip.

We hugged Henry before leaving the store (and carrying our heaviest bags of the day).

The world needs more Henrys.

People that embrace life to its fullest.

People who exude passion and purpose in their work.

People who make others want to be part of what they are and what they do.

People who are passionate about life and passionate about their jobs.

People who make us enjoy the “usual.”

People who make the usual EXTRAordinary.

I want to be a Henry.

The world needs more Henrys.

Cheers & Hugs,


12 thoughts on “The World Needs More Henrys

  1. You touch on such a meaningful subject. Anybody can make any job menial or meaningful, depending on their attitude. Henry reminds us of how important doing the best possible job with the best possible attitude is in whatever it is you’re destined to do for a living. I like him already! In Europe, you often see these kinds of guys…people who have worked a trade their entire lives and turned it into a sort of art form.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Weaving A Spell | Tony's Texts

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