6 January 2017 | Index

Dear Hillary Clinton

Gerard Mclean here, from Englewood, Ohio; about ten miles north of Dayton.

I hope you got my book, Dear Hillary, by now and are enjoying the letters. Well, most of them, I was a bit critical of you in some but it was done with love.

I had lunch at Huffie’s BBQ in West Dayton the Thursday before Christmas and met the two most wonderful women; Shirley Cantrell and Gina Huffman-Musa. When Gina saw I mentioned her BBQ place in my book, she gave me the biggest hug ever. She felt somebody saw her. I felt I was home.

Gina and Shirley are an example of the indomitable human spirit that America is. Gina’s parents opened Huffie’s in 1965. It has survived race riots, civil rights struggles, several economic downturns and most recently, the exodus of many large corporations from the Dayton area.

Yet it stands, and with it, Gina and Shirley.

I understand this month will be tough on you; it will be tough on a lot of us out here who voted for you and wanted to see you lead our country. But we’re not giving up and neither should you.

It may not feel like it right now, but the election gave you the biggest gift anyone could ever receive; the gift of not having to do anything someone else thinks you should do for the rest of your life. Your most important race has only just begun.

Be impulsive. Get on a plane and come to Dayton. Meet these two beautiful women who are keeping the flame of hope and life burning, one meal at a time, one day at a time. Kick back at Huffie’s, consume a full-on body hug from Gina, pray with Shirley and heal your soul, give it warmth.

I’ll keep a seat open for you.

Warm regards,

Gerard McLean