Hatteberg's People: Jeff Henderson

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Can what you wear make you feel better? It can and it does for Arkansas City resident Jeff Henderson.

Jeff is known around Ark City High School as Mr. Pink. Odd color for a guy, but for Jeff, being pink – is just part of his personality, it also teaches tolerance.

“Ola”, ola! It’s going to be a great day today,” shouts Henderson as he watches over students during lunch at Ark City High School.

The in-school suspension supervisor, Jeff wears pink every day of his life.

“I refuse to wear what people think I should wear, or fit in a category, I’m me and it is the way I approach life,” Jeff says.

It was years ago that his mother bought him a pair of pink slacks. From that point on – he fell in love with pink.

“I don’t hurt anybody with it, you look good, and you feel good. I think I
look good in it and when I say that to the kids, they crack up about it.”

“You never see him angry," says student Ashley Carter. "It is kind of hard to be, just the way he presents himself. He is always so happy and he is always so willing to do things for other people. I think the name suits him perfectly.”

In his school room, pink is everywhere: the filing cabinet, chairs, baskets, you name it. Jeff is surrounded by pink.

“For me, it is having my own style," he says.

In his car, the music wasn’t Pink Floyd -- but the car itself is a light pink color.

“It’s fun," says Jeff.

And if you follow him home, you’ll see family pictures, his pink cell phone, and memorabilia of his work as a policeman in the Air Force.

There are even pink walls.

“You know a man’s house is his castle, and you want your castle to the color you want... This is a calming color to me.”

Jeff has been asked some off-color questions.

“I have had people come up and ask me are you gay, is that why you wear pink every day? I say no, I wear it because I look good in pink, that’s my favorite color and that’s what I choose to do, to wear it every day and have my own style.”

Jeff believes that if wearing pink is an issue, then that will foster conversation, and with conversation will come clarity and understanding.

“The kids, I think they do a great job of accepting people. More so, than some of the adults," he says.

Jeff Henderson is a real guy… who simply likes pink. And if the rest of the world doesn’t, so be it.

“I try to live life where my knees might hurt, but I woke up this morning so today is a good day to move from ‘good’ to ‘great’," he says.

Jeff is also a very educated man. He has two bachelors and a master’s degree. He also coach’s basketball. His advice to the rest of us -- be your self and never stop learning.


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