I love that there was a boy from Easley who was brought to Greenville in the early 1960s to see a dentist. I love that the dentist was my grandfather.
I love that when that boy became a man, he took a call from his dentist, my father. A call inquiring if there were any jobs available at IPTAY for a skinny freshman boy who loved Clemson and was searching for where he would fit in on a large campus.
I love that he told his dentist, "no we don't have any current job openings, but tell him to call the office and setup a meeting and I will talk to him." I love that I called that office.
I love that one meeting, one encounter, one decision by a man to allow the freshman boy the opportunity to volunteer at IPTAY could so drastically alter the course of the boy's life.
I love that one volunteer job turned into an hourly minimum wage job, then a graduate assistantship, then a full-time position as Assistant Director of IPTAY. I love that those eight years were some of the best of the boy's life.
I love that they printed that boy's first business card wrong and it read "Associate Executive Director of IPTAY." The same title as the man who gave the boy the job.
I love that this man not only gave the boy many of the greatest experiences of his life, but he, along with George Bennett and Bob Mahony, molded him into the man he is today.
I love that I am that man.
I love looking at my children tonight at dinner knowing that this man put me in a position to meet my beautiful wife, who gave me two amazing children.
I love knowing that some of the greatest friends in my life I met because of this man.
I love that when the boy left IPTAY to embark on new adventures, the man never left the boy. I love that when the boy became a dentist, one of the first calls he got was from the man saying, "You are now my dentist."
I love being that man's dentist.
I love that two of my IPTAY student co-workers are now his attorney and his financial advisor.
I love that the loyalty he has shown me has prepared me to always be there for his girls as long as I take a breath on this earth.
I love that this man changed the lives of so many others, just like he changed mine.
I love that the boy from Easley saw my grandfather, took a call from my dad, and changed my life.
I love Clemson. I love Bert Henderson.