In Klecko's new book "Hitman-Baker-Casketmaker: Aftermath of an American's Clash with ICE" he reminds us to pay attention. Pay attention to the people in our world that make things happen. Your home ec teacher. The people who clean your hotel room. The people who bake your hot dog bun at the Superbowl.
These people matter to our daily lives. Klecko tells a personal story of his life and the aftermath of an ICE raid at St. Agnes Bakery right before the Super Bowl in Minneapolis.
Klecko was in the news in 2018 when his almost 30-year-old St. Agnes Baking Company, a wholesale operation based in St. Paul, was poised to be a primary vendor for the Super Bowl taking place in Minneapolis. Just weeks before the big event, Klecko learned of an audit by ICE that made him close the bakery for good because some 23 of his longtime employees were not eligible to work in the U.S. In tender poems he writes of the loyalty of his staff:
The results of our I-9 audit arrived
Half of you aren’t qualified for employment
The lawyer said you can work 10 more days
But he assured me you wouldn’t
He said you’d be afraid and bolt
If that’s true, I wouldn’t blame you
But I propose we tell our accounts
We are closing after Friday’s bake
Our purpose has been taken
But not our dignity …
The packing supervisor responded
You can’t close the doors
It’s our fault, we will work for free
Until you find replacements
I smiled and said no, not without you
And the crew went back to work.