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Jake - Visitor's Story

by Karr Keis
(Charleston, SC, USA)

I worked at a small antiques and consignment shop in Charleston, SC. It was early, business was slow, so I went outside to water the plants. That's when I met Jake.

Jake was not your traditional window washer. He was there to wash our windows. Jake had a purpose for living. Jake was going to become a famous chef.

Jake completed two years of chef school, but he lacked the funds to finish his last two years. He learned cooking from anyone who would take him in. He lived two months with a black family on Wadmalah Island and they taught him the family way to weave cast nets, catch crabs, and how to fish off an old pier with a cane pole. You can't learn those skills in a classroom.

As we spoke, I learned he already had lived with a black family along the Gulf Coast. He was washing windows so he could afford to make it to New England and learn to cook seafood like a Yankee. This man had a vision, dream, and ambition. So what if he lived in his van. Yes, it was a mangled heap, but it kept a dream alive. Please let me know if a new five-star restaurant opens in your town named Jake's.

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