A Harley and an ice cream cone

One never knows from where your positive influences in life might come.
When I was an overweight teen on my first real job at the Dairy Queen, a man rode into my life on a black Harley Davidson to take a job as store manager who would widen my prospective on the world.
Ed Cross fit all the stereotypes a young teen might associate with a biker in the 1970s, long hair, wearing black leather and hanging out with other biker friends.
All I had seen of bikers in my life to that point were film depictions which left some initial fears and concerns on what to expect. Ed changed all those early misconceptions for me. He was a hardworking, caring individual whose laughter and jokes filled the hours of our work environment with a positive spirit.
His strength which carried an air of fear associated with it, kept a bunch of male and female teenagers as well as adults in line keeping food going out the windows from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Ed taught me business tools which I have used throughout my life – doing product inventories, placing warehouse orders, counting cash register tills, and making deposits. I watched and assisted him in fixing equipment of all kinds to help us keep operating.
I saw him work double shifts when others were not available. I watched him reach out to help young people among our staff who were going through a tough time in their lives and who felt they could not turn to anyone else.
A few days ago, I learned that Ed passed away and it brought back memories of all the laughs, all the lessons learned and the hours spent together making an honest living. Without Ed, my early music career would have never flourished. Because of him and our store owner Joe Wyche, I seldom worked a Friday or Saturday, allowing me the opportunity to tour and appear around the country while keeping a steady income.
I think, at least I hope, Ed knew all the difference he made in the lives of us Dairy Queen kids. If there is someone who has made a difference in your life, I hope you will take the time to share with them the impact they had.