ROCHESTER, NY – Sometimes, it’s the little things we do that end up having the biggest impact. That’s how it began for two best friends in Rochester, New York who wanted to show a sense of unity after the death of George Floyd and in the midst of such unrest in our country.
Best friends Benjamin Smith and Marcus Ellis set up in their driveway hoping people would stop by. Turns out, they were in for so much more than that.
It was a simple request: “Black or white, relax and have a beer."
Thousands of reactions and shares across the entire country later and the message made it to country music star Brad Paisley.
Paisley liked their message so much, he stopped by their party on a zoom call, shocking the best friends.
"It's such a cool feeling that we're making such a big impact in the community,” Smith said.
Paisley not only spoke to the best friends but he shipped hundreds of dollars worth of beer directly to their house just hours before the zoom call.
"Man, I am so thrilled to meet you, face to face like this, I'm so inspired by you, and we thought we should deliver more beer than you could possibly drink," Paisley shared with the duo. "This is going to be a popular destination on this street."
The timing couldn't be better for Paisley, who just released a new song called "No 'I' in Beer."
The country megastar even hung around just like it was a block party for the next half hour.
Beer and camaraderie might be soothing salves in this time, but Paisley, and Smith and Ellis, have never forgotten the true heart of the message.
"I'm trying to hear out my friends in the black community, that's what you guys are doing; together, the same thing, I'm all ears, always have been, I've had big ears my whole life," Paisley said.
"It means the world, from space and back, to the other milky ways and whatever, it means a lot," Ellis added.
Smith and Ellis met building cell phone towers together. They have different backgrounds, Smith served in the Marine Corps and Ellis came from Long Island, but they've been best friends for years.
“Through the rioting and protests, I kind of felt like I was being torn apart, and it was rough,” Smith said. “And this is what builds it back up."