[Canon 7D | 35mm 1.4 | Ambient Light]
Al Tolbert is the owner of Happy Cream at 128 Monroe St. in downtown Detroit. I came across the shop one Sunday when I had a taste for some ice cream and Happy Cream was the only place open in the whole of downtown Detroit.
That was months ago. I only recently took the opportunity to learn more about the story of Happy Cream's owner Al Tolbert.
The first thing you notice about Mr. Tolbert is he radiates guileless goodness. I think most animals - including human beings - have an evolved ability to sense the nature of other animals. That's why when look at the photo of the guy wanted for armed robbery and kidnapping you reflexively think to yourself, "he did it, and if he didn't do it, he did something."
People like Mr. Tolbert, however, evoke the exact opposite response. When you talk to him, you are immediately overcome with a sense of his sincere goodness. And the goodness doesn't stop with him.
His daughter Cherry is an indubitable extension of his goodness. Cherry is a high school senior at Cranbrook Kingwood School in Bloomfield Hills - a suburb of Detroit where, according to 2000 U.S. Census data, the median household income exceeds $200,000 and 49 percent of homes have a value of over $1,000,000 (Mind you, that's in Midwest not coastal dollars. $1,000,000 and $200,000 means a lot more here than it does in New York City).
She also introduced Michelle Obama during her recent visit to Detroit's Wayne State University. And Cherry apparently left an impression on Mrs. Obama.
After Mrs. Obama's appearance in Detroit, she called Cherry at home. She told her to do her first year at Michigan State University... and then do her second year as an intern at the White House.
A cynic may have read the first couple lines of this article and took me to be a person too easily convinced. Sure, a person may SEEM like good people - but politicians cynically affect goodness all the time.
In response, I say this: A man can fake a lot of things, but you can't fake raising a daughter who earns the interest of the First Lady of the United States.
And bad people don't name their businesses Happy Cream.
Speaking of goodness, righteousness, and happiness and such; I am sincerely happy to bring this story to my modest audience. Please pass it along and visit Happy Cream if you are in Detroit.
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