There’s no replacing Adored Henry.
Charleston’s admired bellman, Henry Middleton — accustomed to best as “Happy Henry” acknowledgment to his abiding grin — has retired, and he’s larboard some appealing big dancing shoes to fill.
“We’ll appoint addition bellman, but there’s no way we can alter him,” said Ken Gillespie, a accustomed administrator at the Hampton Inn in city Charleston.
After alive there for 15 years, Middleton, who was built-in and aloft in Charleston, appear aftermost anniversary he was affective to Knoxville, Tenn., area he’ll adore retirement with his son and grandchildren.
From day one, his coworkers said, guests took apprehension of Middleton’s brilliant outlook. He’d sing in the lobby, ball bottomward the hallways and could never be bent after a smile on his face.
Then, over the aftermost several years, Middleton’s attendance at Charleston’s anniversary Cooper River Bridge Run advance that joy alike further. Wearing his bellman’s uniform, Middleton animated the runners on from the sidelines, singing, allure and giving out aerial fives with glee.
A video of his cheerleading antics was beheld bags of times on Facebook, and Adored Henry’s bounded celebrity grew.
It’s not aberrant for guests to ask if Middleton is still alive there afore they book apartment at the Meeting Street Hampton Inn, and alike some echo visitors to the Holy City who are blockage at added hotels will bead by to pay him a appointment or breeze a picture.
Just a brace weeks ago, an agent at a Mount Pleasant auberge alleged to see if Middleton was working, recalled Gillespie. Two of their guests “had to see Adored Henry” afore they bent their flight home.
Other Charleston hotels accept approved to get Middleton to accompany their staffs, but he never accustomed their offers.
The agents at the Hampton is “his family,” Middleton said, and it’s them he’ll absence the best in retirement. As for abrogation Charleston, he’ll absence the food, abnormally his favorite, lima beans.
In 2017, Middleton was accustomed by the Hampton Inn auberge alternation with a civic award. Kevin Eichman, a accustomed administrator at the auberge at the time, wrote in his choice letter about Middleton’s “infectious way of authoritative bodies happy.”
The letter cited belief of Middleton digging through a debris bag to balance a guests’s absent corpuscle phone, praying with addition who was in boondocks for a medical action and handing out teddy bears to accouchement in the lobby.
Mary Wilson, who’s formed at the auberge for 26 years, said that from Middleton’s aboriginal day he was “going the added mile,” whether that meant bringing the linens admiral for the housekeeping agents or aloof befitting them animated on a boxy day.
“That man appropriate there is article else,” Charlestta Cash, addition coworker, said at a activity abroad affair captivated for Middleton in the hotel’s antechamber on Jan. 15. “I don’t apperceive area he gets it from. I’ve never apparent that man after a smile.”
Gold mylar balloons that spelled “Happy Henry” were afraid in the antechamber aloft a table busy with smiley face buttons and cards. Friends who alone by for the adieu hugged Middleton and asked how he was.
“Happy,” he replied anniversary time.
People generally ask Middleton how he does it. How is he that adored every day?
To him, it’s simple. He credits his acceptance and said he thinks his adeptness to accompany added bodies joy is a allowance he’s been adored with. And the beatitude acts as a cycle: his beatitude makes addition abroad happy, and authoritative that being adored makes him all the happier.
That simple aesthetics is spelled out on a rug that sits on the beginning of the hotel’s capital entrance. It says in bold, block letters, “Making You Adored Makes Us Happy.” Middleton said he was the afflatus for that adorning detail.
“Everything I do in activity comes from my heart,” Middleton said. “Joy and love — that’s the way I feel. I accompany adulation to the place.”
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