In 2017 a random South African expat in Canada, mowing the lawn with a tornado in the background, became a media sensation. And now another random South African expat is under the spotlight in the USA, featured in the Washington Post, after his purchase of a tie for his citizenship ceremony roused feelings of patriotism amongst thousands!
Jaques Campher Krasinski (41) had been searching for an appropriate tie to wear to his US citizenship ceremony, when he found one on Ebay, advertised by Marc C. Johnson (49), a former CIA Case Officer.
Marc told the story in a series of tweets on 30 April. He said he had listed the necktie because, although he used to wear it on the 4th of July, he’s currently downsizing.
“I wasn’t going to make much money on it (maybe a couple bucks) but I wanted it to go to someone who might actually wear it.”
Jaques was the only bidder.
“So he pays me and I go to ship it… and discover a couple of spots on it I didn’t notice before! So I ‘fess up to the winning bidder and tell him I’ll give him a discount if he still wants the tie.
“He comes right back and asks if I think it will come out if he takes it to the dry cleaners. He said he really wanted it because he wanted to wear it TO HIS SWEARING IN CEREMONY TO BECOME AN AMERICAN CITIZEN.
“I thought about it for a second and just decided to send him the tie gratis and cancel the auction. I sent him a note telling him not to be alarmed that I canceled the auction; I wanted him to have the tie with my congratulations on becoming a citizen.
“He responded with sincere thanks, telling me he was raised by his grandparents in South Africa, and they taught him to always make sure to be frugal and repair rather than replace.
“He assured me he would treasure the tie for years to come.
“I patted myself on the back for a good deed and moved on. I had more or less forgotten about it. Until a few minutes ago.
“He sent me a picture of him at the swearing in, wearing the tie! (i’ve covered his face for privacy reasons)” (See tweet below.)
He sent me a picture of him at the swearing in, wearing the tie! (i've covered his face for privacy reasons) pic.twitter.com/v67imEtud3
— 🌷🐶 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗰 𝗖. 𝗝𝗼𝗵𝗻𝘀𝗼𝗻 مارک (@BlogGuero) April 30, 2019
Marc said he was “proud that we live in a place where people want to show their enthusiasm for adopting our culture and can show kindness and gratitude to one another.”
Marc’s twitter feed was lit up with warm hearted cheer for both men’s wonderful values and patriotism.
“Thank you. Beautiful simple acts of kindness, We need more of this especially now. Again, thank you for the smile and tears,” was one comment that summed up many.
The next day Marc updated with a new picture and said: “I told (Jaques) he was Twitter famous, and he gave me permission to post this picture of him with his family after the ceremony! ❤️🇺🇸 /FIN/”
UPDATE: I told him he was Twitter famous, and he gave me permission to post this picture of him with his family after the ceremony! ❤️🇺🇸 /FIN/ pic.twitter.com/xY6oMj7Sss
— 🌷🐶 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗰 𝗖. 𝗝𝗼𝗵𝗻𝘀𝗼𝗻 مارک (@BlogGuero) May 1, 2019
It wasn’t long before The Washington Post got hold of Marc and Jaques to interview them about the interaction that had touched so many thousands of people.
Marc joked afterwards: “Let’s face facts: this was the 15 minutes (Andy) Warhol promised me.”
Twitter followers have reached out to Jaques to welcome him to “Team US”.
Jaques says it was a long process “maar ek is baie baie trots en dankbaar ek het n plek wat ek “home” Kan noem” (but I’m very, very proud and grateful that I have a place that I can call home).
He told The Washington Post he couldn’t explain the warm feelings he had in words. His wife, and mother of his 4-year-old daughter, American Lindsay Krasinski (38) revealed: “He got weepy when he told me about it.”
According to The Washington Post, the couple married five years ago in South Africa but were stuck between Lindsay needing another two years in SA to get a visa to stay, and Jaques’ application for a visa to live in the US taking a long time to come through. So they lived in a few countries in Latin America before moving to Ohio in 2015.
Jaques, who takes cares of his daughter and works as a driver, told the news organisation that for him American “people are wonderful, the country is wonderful. I want my daughter to grow up in this wonderful country.”
The feelings appear to be mutual. His neighbour said: “So proud of this man. He became a US citizen (last week). He is our neighbor and said he loves America and wants people to know how great America is and how fortunate we all are to live here.”