I first met him in the Army Reserve about 45 years ago. I had just joined the Army and was attending my first training drill. Who was the first guy to greet me? Yup, my eventual hero. He introduced himself and asked about me. I was struck by his obvious sincerity.
Years went by. I would run into him from time to time at the Fargo airport or at restaurants or other social functions. Yes, my hero was still friendly. He always seemed like he was really glad to see me. I could not help but notice that he was the same with others.
"Is this guy everyone's friend?" I would think to myself.
Over the years, I traveled much of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa on business. When Detroit Lakes or Perham was mentioned, many times this guy's name came up. If people did not know him they had heard of him. This guy really has thousands of friends. It is just amazing.
I have learned that he has quietly helped out a lot of people, for which he does not seek attention or publicity; he just does the right thing, out of the spotlight.
However, the spotlight is something he has not totally avoided. Due to his businesses, he has been forced into the TV and radio spotlights. Official snacks of the Minnesota Twins! That is a big deal. Do you not just love his ads with Twins manager Ron Gardenhire? I cannot get enough of them.
Well, I suspect you now have realized who my hero is. Kenny Nelson. What a guy.
I never met his dad, Tuffy Nelson, but I have been told he was quality, also. Not surprising. Kenny learned his lessons well.
We are so fortunate to have Kenny Nelson and his businesses in our area, and I am as fortunate as I can be to count this guy as my friend (even if he doesn't know it).