Recently, as I mentioned in this journal, our kind-hearted banker with a sense of humor passed away. Although we didn't really move in the same social circles, Larry would have gladly welcomed us into his circle, I'm sure. That's how he was.
He was the banker who would give anyone a chance, as long as they seemed sincere about wanting to get ahead.
His children were in the same grades as my children. In fact, I think perhaps his daughter was my son's first girl friend... in the fifth grade.
You can't imagine how much Cliff and I respected and loved this man. He bailed us out at a very crucial time in our lives.
By the way, if any of my readers want to pay homage to the man for my sake, go the the Shriner's hospital website and leave a donation in memory of Larry Wims. Don't mention me there, please. This isn't about me.
You can't imagine how honored I was to receive a note from Larry's widow when I returned home from my trip to Texas: she wanted me to know that a poem I wrote years ago was read at Larry's funeral.
Humbly I share that poem with you, a poem written at a difficult time when my husband had lost his job and we had nowhere else to turn except to our banker.
THE MANY FACES OF SANTA
(c) December 4, 1993
Christmas was a wondrous thing, back when I was a child ---
Pretty lights and tinsel; "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild"---
And each succeeding Yuletide seemed the best there ever was,
Made brighter by a spirited old elf named Santa Claus.
Santa changed a little, as I traveled through my youth,
For, up in elementary school, I somehow learned the truth;
It didn't spoil the many happy Christmases I had,
But now, it seemed like Santa looked a lot like dear old Dad!
Then I grew up and married. Dreams are bigger, when you're grown,
And I longed for a Gibson Dove guitar to call my own.
When it appeared beneath the tree, you betcha, I felt good!
And that year, old Saint Nickolas looked just like Clifford Wood!
By and by, along came Jim, my bouncing baby boy,
And after that came Rachel; every Christmas, they'd get toys.
It didn't take a lot to fill their little hearts with glee:
About that time, I realized that Santa looked like me!
With Cliff's new job, this Christmas season looked a little bleak;
It takes all we can do to make it through from week to week
But once more, I've found Santa, and I even spoke with him:
He bears a strong resemblance to our banker, Larry Wims!
Now playing: Iris Dement - When I was yours and you were mine