Every thought of trying to run a company where every week you get new employees and only management stays the same? Think about that for a minute and you’ll find your self in my boat. Except my employees aren’t paid, they volunteer.Hmmm , there’s a twist. The great thing about volunteers though is they bring back good stories. Let me set the scene: We’re rebuilding a house on the east side of New Orleans for a Miss Angeline. The said house does not yet have plumbing: meaning no bathroom. Number one question of volunteers is “What do we do when we need to use the bathroom?” Answer: scope out the nearest port-a-potty. Now, in your average city, port-a-potties would typically not be located in various parts of a neighborhood, but New Orleans is not your average city right now. So port-a-potties are a standard. Miss Angeline’s house has a POP down the street, around the corner and to the west… that is, 2 blocks away. Quite the jont when you really have to go. Enter team Michigan. This team is made up of 2 women and 6 men. Guess who has to use the restroom the most often?

Wallace is an 80+ year old man who lives down the street and just around the corner on the way to the above noted POP. Having already completed his house, his daily activities are limited to watching the daily happenings of the neighborhood… and those walking by in search of the POP.

Day 1: Wallace takes note of the activity at Miss Angeline’s house and watches as the two ladies make trips the the POP in two hour intervals.

Day 2: Wallace invites said ladies to use his bathroom, conveniently located just inside his back door. Each trip results in a 5 minute bathroom break and 30 minutes of talking to Wallace.

Day 3: repeat of Day 2.

Day 4-5: Team Michigan drops ladies off at Wallace’s house promptly at 8:30am prior to arriving at job site. Michigan ladies make first bathroom break and conversation with Wallace before proceeding to job site. Two hours later are back for potty break #2 and the cycle repeats.

Wallace has now become as much a part of Miss Angeline’s house as the work. How many of us live in a city where your neighbor would invite you to use their bathroom if they saw you walking down the street to the nearest POP? New Orleans I’m realizing is not just about high crime rates, daily murders, poverty and racism that is protrayed in the media. There are daily happenings of good that go un-noticed… thanks Wallace.


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