Antonio's Dream Honeymoon

Hi...My name is Molly Barker.  I'm the  50 something year old girl in this picture. :)  This is my friend Antonio Baldwin.  He works for the City of Charlotte in their Waste Disposal Department. 

Several weeks ago, I got to thinking about all the people in my life...who often go unnoticed by me.  For example, the people  who keep my city often have I passed right by them with hardly a wave. 

So...I decided to email the City of Charlotte and find out exactly WHO picks up my trash every week.  A very kind fellow who works for the Waste Disposal Division wrote me back and told me to reach out to Antonio Baldwin.

And so, I decided to take life up on this offer and call this man.  "Let's go to Wendy's for an early lunch," I asked him.

"Sure," he said...and so we did.

We talked for over an unlikely pair sitting there at the Wendy's on Park Road in Charlotte, NC.  I am a white woman in my 50's, blonde (sort of), professional and as he would share with me later, looking a little bit like a hippy...he a young African American man, tall, gold on his teeth and as I would later describe him, friendly, kind and laid back.

We talked about all kinds of things.  We talked about growing up and the struggles we, as humans, all face.  He was surprised to learn that I was a recovering alcoholic.  "I never understood how people who seemed to have everything they need, would struggle with these kinds of things."

We chuckled about that together.  Yeah...neither one of us has been perfect, that's for sure...but we do keep moving along.  Progress not perfection...our agreed upon credo.

Antonio is a working man.  He holds two jobs to make ends meet.  He has three kids, 8,9 and 13.  He's married to Brandi.  He is 36 years old.

"I'm also saving up for the honeymoon Brandi and I never had."

I asked him where they want to go.

"Jamaica.  Montego Bay."

I let him know that I appreciated him.  We talked a little more.  I told him we would stay in touch.

And we have. It's been a few months since our time together and for some reason, today, I thought it might be cool to share our photo on Facebook...and so I did.

Lots of you have seen it.  Several of you even offered to help pay for the honeymoon he never had.  And so here we are...our goal is really to get whatever we can for this man who goes to work everyday...does his part in the world and hasn't taken a vacation in years, much less a honeymoon. Plain and simple.  Antonio and his lovely wife on the honeymoon of their dreams.  Let's do this.
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Molly Wilmer Barker 
Charlotte, NC
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