Get A Long: An Original Love Story

February 4, 2012

Copyright © 2012 by Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes

Growing up boys dreamed of marrying one of the Long daughters. Jim Long is married to Karen Long and the rumor is they named Long Island after their family. The saying is that  the family has Long money and their savings will never run out. The Longs made their money early on in residential real estate and later switched over to build a commercial real estate empire.

As a young man marrying a Long was like winning the lottery where everything would be taken for you. The Longs had three daughters and no sons. Each young man that would be given the opportunity would be treated just like he was a Long.

The three daughters were Kali 30, Joan 28 and Cassee 23. Kali and Joan were successfully married and where the story begins everyone in the family is wondering when Cassee will find and marry Mr. Right.

In High School Cassee became real good friends with Joe Joe Johnson. Joe Joe was a great fit for Cassee but because of his economic background she never felt the family would approve of Joe Joe becoming one of them. Joe Joe was not naive but he liked Cassee and remained good friends with her throughout High School and College.

During college Cassee became serious about Jamir Jefferson, a college All American running back who was projected as a 1st round draft pick in the NFL. Cassee and Jamir met as Freshmen and have dated for four years having an optimistic view of having a family with kids one day.  Jamir liked the idea but wanted to wait until he established himself with his professional football career.  Cassee  was more ready especially with seeing how Kali and Joan were living the American dream like their mom and dad.

Jamir went to the NFL Draft Party. He was selected the number 1 running back at pick #16 by the New York Jets. Since the draft was in NY the crowd went crazy. Jamir had went to the draft alone and did not invite Cassee. After the draft Jamir met with Cassee and let her know that he wanted to move on as just friends. Jamir wasn’t ready to be tied down for the Long haul with the Long family.

Cassee was full of tears and as usual called on her Joe Joe. Double J as many call him was always there for Cassee no matter what. Cassee asked Joe Joe to meet her out for dinner and the two began to establish a bond even greater than the one they already had.

Joe Joe went to see Cassee graduate from College with a B.A. in International Business from Harvard. Joe Joe never went to college but remained a mainstay at his job that he has held since High School. In 6 years he has gone from grocery bagger to one of the youngest Store Manager’s in company history.

Cassee decided it was time to introduce Joe Joe to her family as Mr. Right. Everyone was happy for her even though Mr. Long had some concerns about the finanacial future of their family. Mr. Long wanted to know if a Store Managers salary could provide Cassee with the type of lifestyle that she was accustomed to?

Joe Joe laughed lightly saying to Mr. Long “if anyone signs a prenuptial, it won’t have to be me”

“Mr Long have you heard of EOJ International?” “Yes I have Joe Joe, my two son in laws work for the company and are both earning well over six figures a year”

“Well if they are earning six figures how well do you think I’m doing? I own the company and EOJ is my name backwards. When my Grandfather died four years ago I inherited the company. I never said anything because I wanted people to treat me the same whether I had a lot of money or not.  Mr. Long I read in your book, Long Money, that a key to wealth is to put a great team together, keep them happy and get the hell out of the way. For four years I have done just that with great success. Running a store helps me run my other businesses and at the same time I get to shape lives.”

Six months later Joe Joe was able to Get A Long as he and Cassee tied the knot.

Lessons From LAFAYETTE: 9 Things I Learned From My Best Friend

January 18, 2012

A few days ago I was going through a box of collectibles and I found a plaque that was given to me for a college graduation present. The plaque reads “Future Businessman Of the Year”.

Most gifts I received after walking across the stage have disappeared. I started to think about my childhood and the one who gave me this gift. When I was in 2nd grade I met a 3rd grader named Junior Mosley. As adults he wants to be referred to by his birth name Lafayette.

We grew up on different streets, went to different schools, and even played on different Little League teams yet time would turn us into the best of friends.

If you asked him he may say that he has learned a lot from me but the truth has to be told and through his name LAFAYETTE I give you 9 Things That I Learned From My Best Friend.

L is for Loyalty. When Lafayette was in college he had a choice that I never had to make. He could stay in school and see his family struggle or quit school and find a job to help provide. None of his relatives asked him to go to work but the man inside him allowed him to clock out of school and clock in for an employer.

A is for Aim. Lafayette always had one goal in mind and that was to be the best. Not being tall with a lot of weight he made up for his lack of size with fierce determination. When I write I’m just like my friend in that I aim to please with my best work.

F is for Flavor. I hear kids these days talk about swag. Lafayette was the one who I first saw on the football field with a matching towel set, not Deion Sanders. Lafayette was ahead of the game and demanded attention with his walk and his talk.

A is for Align. I learned early on that people love winners. Lafayette was super successful in elementary, middle and high School in sports. When girls from other schools knew that he was Batman and I was Robin it made my work easy. Second place was cool as long as my friend came in first.

Y is for Youth. As a youth Lafayette father passed away. I did not know how to react. When my mother passed away Lafayette complimented me on how well I handled things. As an adult I just did what I saw as a youth.

E is for Expectation. If you played ball with Lafayette you expected to win.  If you went to dances you expected girls to like you. Now when I write I expect someone to not only be inspired but for their life to be transformed.

T is for Team. As a Jr. in high school I was a member of a state qualifying relay team. Lafayette was one of th efastest and he took one for th eteam by insisting that he would run the first leg to get us off to a good start. Lafayette gave me an example of how team work can make your dream work.

T is Teach. My brothers were 6 and 9 years older than me and it was not possible for my father to be around me all of the time. Lafayette was my mentor. It’s one thing to succeed and win but it’s everything to learn the process. Being with Lafayette gave me fish but learning from him taught me how to fish.

E is Eye. Lafayette was a mover and shaker. On the field he faked many out and left them laying. He had great vision and could cut back with the best of them. The way he played taught me how to see where I wanted to go so that the path would open before my eyes.  One amazing thing he did with his hands and eyes was catch flies.  I now look for and see things in words that I have never seen before.

Go say hello to my great friend Lafayette Mosley.