More than three years ago, with Christmas approaching, I wrote in this entry about my favorite movie, "It's A Wonderful Life". I mentioned that when I watch that movie, I always see our former banker, Larry Wims, in the role of George Bailey.
Never have we found any other compassionate, friendly person in the role of banker.
We have excellent credit, but I swear that when we go to Lexington to see our present banker about a loan, I end up feeling like a small piece of manure on the bottom of his shiny black shoes; I return home from there with a bad taste in my mouth.
When Larry was our banker, he'd joke with us and let us know he had confidence in the fact that we'd pay what we owed. He'd ask how our kids were doing (his two were the same age as ours). He'd make small talk.
Back around 1978 I was riding to work with a recently widowed friend, Carol. Her husband had died and left her in dire financial straits, and she didn't know where to turn. I suggested she go see Larry.
That banker with a heart extended her the credit she needed at a time when I doubt if anyone on the face of this earth would have wasted two minutes on her.
Larry passed away this morning, and although I hadn't seen him in perhaps a couple of years, Cliff and I feel we've lost a member of the family. We're in mourning, in every sense of the word.
Larry truly had "a wonderful life"; he helped make our lives more wonderful, too.
God rest his soul.