ACF United: Stafford’s Fireside Chat 05/21/2020


Aloha Everyone,

As promised in March, I would continue reaching out to my ACF Ohana… checking in with you, hoping and praying that you are all doing well and stay safe. During these past months, I’ve sent informational and motivational messages, and for the most part, were all very well received. I’ve personally heard from hundreds of you, thanking me for my version of “fireside chats.” But of course, not everyone has been happy with my communications, for those who were not pleased, I thank you for sharing.

This will be my final fireside chat to everyone. Since the country is beginning to show signs of re-opening, many of you will be busy again and focused on recovery. With this final fireside chat, I’d like to go back to where we began… defining what a fireside chat is and what it is meant to be.

With that in mind, a little history:

On March 12, 1933, just a few days after taking office, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his first fireside chat to the nation, on radio. President Roosevelt delivered some 30 plus speeches. I won’t venture into the political strategies, but the President’s approach was to calm the nation, using plain language to describe and explain the complexities of the time. His goal was to be a steady and reassuring force of truth, while boosting confidence of listeners. Americans found comfort during a difficult time, and that comfort soon equated to the term “Fireside Chats.” And BTW, for those who wrote me, asking if I were actually sitting next to or in front of a fireplace… simple answer, No! And as a side note and to clarify, neither was President Franklin Roosevelt when he delivered those 30 fireside chats. He actually sat at his desk. Remember, the term fireside chat was coined because it invoked the “comforting intent, the informality and the tone” of his speeches. Thus, I borrowed the concept from the former President.

Now for my final fireside chat this May, 2020. The message is simple and is a future look of telling the story of the virus to a future generation. There will be history books written about what we are experiencing and COVID-19 will take its place there. But the virus will also find its way into storytelling to the children of tomorrow, who will be asking about the pandemic. Children will be asking “who, what, where, when, why and how?”

This is a story about a young dad, sometime into the future (who in 2020, is currently a young child or young adult experiencing COVID-19.) He now has a family of his own and his young son asks him to tell the story about the virus, again. The interesting thing is that the child used the word “again.” Meaning it was a story that dad has told before, a message that stuck with him, and he is looking for reinforcement by having dad tell the story once again. The story of how it all happened, and more so, how the human race got to where it is today, his time, our future time. There are a number of hidden messages in the visual and the audio… listen and watch carefully… and know that there is hope, there is a future, and there will be children who learn what our generation possibly did not.

I’m hoping you’ll enjoy this story as much as I have. (I’ve watched this video a dozen times and each time, I take away something new to ponder from the positive messages.)

With that my friends, I leave you with hope, love, determination and solace… knowing we will move forward and will be face to face again in our new world. Signing off this one final time.


Stafford T. DeCambra, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC
National President
American Culinary Federation