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Citizen of the World

May 28, 2019

MIKE

Mike knows I want to write a blog about him. I enjoy bragging about the talented and diverse team members at Jim Hudson Lexus, so it was only a matter of time before he became my next victim. “So, you are here to gather intel,” he says. Most employees reluctantly agree to this process, offering perfunctory replies to the questionnaire, forcing me to chase them down, like a journalist, to get a broader picture. Not so with Mike. He casually gives me all of the “intel” I need, letting me in on fun facts, and advising me regarding what I can and cannot share about his story.

It is an interesting story, indeed. A self-described “citizen of the world”, he moved to America in 1990 from Jamaica by way of a job on a cruise ship. The “washbelly” child in a family of six kids (I learn that washbelly means the youngest kid in a Jamaican family, like washing a pot when you are done with it), his other siblings are spread out from California to Russia to England. He will not allow me to disclose the full size of his own family, but stresses that raising his two young kids Maci and “Bossbaby” is the focus for him right now.

yardcore

When I inquire if he is going to have more children, he comments on the cost of parenting. Traveling the world and raising children requires a commitment to hard work, and it is in this aspect of his life in which Mike shows his true character. In addition to his full time position in our dealership cafe, he also works as a server at the Augusta Country Club. Mike is a stalwart creature of meticulous habits which makes him a valued team member for any employer. He is methodical in his work routine, reliable in the processes essential in the world of food, and keeps a steady composure in the face of stress.

Mike’s unflappable nature is never more evident than in a reality TV appearance, an episode of the Jamie Kennedy show in which he is enmeshed in a prank about an enormous rat.  Mike remains calm throughout the entire episode, playing along with antics which would rattle even the most insouciant of personalities. The whole time I am watching the Youtube video, I am thinking, he is the perfect person for this hoax. He is a cool cat who plays along despite suspecting that something was amiss, and keeps a poker face until the dramatic surprise.

Mike on the Jamie Kennedy TV show

The Jamie Kennedy show is not the only time that Mike appears in a national google search. In addition to googling “rat exterminator Jamie Kennedy”, he goes to his phone and enters a search of golf.com articles from 2014 about Billy Payne wanting to grow the game. In the opening to this engaging article, author Michael Bamberger references a server who is hooked on the sport and dreams of one day playing the Augusta National. That waiter is Mike, and his inclusion in this article for an esteemed publication is a source of tremendous pride. If you know Mike, you can easily imagine him having casual banter while serving drinks or a meal at the club. Mike’s easygoing charm and global citizenship would be just the thing that a senior writer of Sports Illustrated would observe.

Mike is the server referenced in this article

In addition to his gifts as a father, golfer and world traveler, Mike is also an excellent cook. At home, he makes an amazing oxtail stew, and at the dealership he assists Chef Sharon with many of her signature dishes in the At Your Service Cafe repertoire. His polite demeanor makes him the ideal fit for both a cafe within a Lexus dealership, as well as the dining halls of a prestigious club. Between these two jobs and his passion for golf, he knows much of Augusta’s golf community by name, and is well-respected for his courtesy, work ethic and passion for the sport. If you have not yet met Mike Smith, stop by for a sandwich and some chat about golf, or food, or any of the 79 countries he has visited. He’s happy to converse about any topic, even a surprise over-sized rat.

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