I couldn’t help it. Despite the fact that protesters for the GLADD sponsored Chick-Fil-A “kiss-in” was not due to start until 7pm CST, I was craving a chicken salad sandwich…so I got there at about 5:30.
As I was met by one friendly, familiar face after another, I quickly grabbed the largest table in the establishment with the best vantage point. One, by one, patriots arrived at the Des Peres, Missouri Chick-Fil-A. We noshed, talked about homeschooling, and laughed quite a bit. I certainly hope nobody thought I was being rude as my gaze often wandered away from our conversations, as I was constantly canvassing the area. I kept a mindful eye out for anything that was out of the ordinary…and there was.
Meet Franscesco, manager.
The eatery was at maximum capacity, and this man was on the move! He was dutifully juggling overseeing order-taking, checking on seated customers to assure meal quality, and keeping tabs on what was about to unfold outside.
Shortly before 7pm, one media outlet, local KMOV, set up camp on the sidewalk, just feet away from the Chick-Fil-A sign on a very busy Manchester Road…quickly followed by a second camera man with affiliate KPLR…who, incidentally, had quickly finished his Chick-Fil-A dinner before scurrying out to cover, well, nothing.
Lo and behold, a single protester showed, and stood near the street holding a sign which read “Chick-fil-a sells hate!” Congressional Candidate Martin Baker quickly brought out some icewater for the girl amid concern of dehydration under the oppressive heat St Louis has been under for months. With a simple “God Bless you!” Baker left her to her protesting, and she was joined by two other women shortly there after.
I’m the mean time, Franscesco continued on with his managerial duties, rushing orders out and refilling customers’ drinks…then he disappeared. The establishment was still at maximum capacity and traffic flowed steadily when the manager reappeared with several bags of food and a caddy full of cups.
Franscesco walk past our gathering and outside to the protesters, bringing each of them a full meal, free of charge. This man had been hauling butt for nearly two hours straight by now, and I could only imagine how nerve-wracking it had to be knowing that he could have an unpleasant situation on his hands at any moment.
As he re-entered the building, I asked permission to take his picture. He told me he would have to talk to the owner, and ducked out again quickly to ask his boss for approval.
As Franscesco returned, I snapped a couple of shots with my camera, and we became a bit chatty, talking about the record-setting Appreciation Day that was largely ignored by the media, versus the now, all but bust, counter protest.
“We brought in extra food for them” he stated, in anticipation of anything from zip to hundreds of protesters. “We want them to understand that we serve everybody.”
Chick-Fil-A came under a whirl-wind of cortroversy when Founder D. Truett Cathy spoke openly in support of traditional Biblical marriage. *Note, he did not speak out against samensex marriage as spun by the media…that same media whose bias drove a “controversy” which flew right back in their face when thousands upon thousands of supporters of both traditional marriage, and the First Amendment flocked to Chick-Fil-As nation-wide on Wednesday, August 1. This marked the single largest 24 hour buycott in our nation’s history.
With that, we exchanged “God Bless you” and he was busily back off to work.
For the record, Chick-Fil-A was at maximum capacity the entire time. Customers enjoyed their meals, and conversations with strangers, turned new-found-friends, and the media stayed far from the restaurant, never entering the building to grant an objective report…as we all know, their bias just won’t let them.
In the end, good food, good people, and a man who showed extreme grace under pressure…with a kind gesture Jesus would approve of.
This man deserves a hug.
…now, tell me about the hate again?