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Yule spirit came in June this year

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Sports Talk

By Robert Howey

It was the last week in June, so I guess this incident qualifies for, say Christmas in July.

What happened over the course of two mornings at the beach last summer gave me a Christmas-like feeling. As I said, it was the last week in June and our family was vacationing in North Myrtle Beach.

One morning, I ventured out to buy a newspaper from the rack at a local convenience store. Turns out I was two bits shy needed to buy a paper. I went back to my truck and searched for a quarter, even checking between the seats. No luck. It was too far to go back where we were staying, so I pondered my next move. I scanned the parking lot in search of, hopefully, a giving soul. I settled on an elderly man wearing oversized sunglasses. I figured the grandfather-like fellow would be understanding. Turns out he really was.

I told him my plight, short a quarter for a newspaper and he reached in his pocket and gave me the needed coin. It happened so fast and I guess I was still somewhat stunned with a total stranger’s generosity. Possibly, he had been in a similar situation before. I don’t know because he quickly departed and so did I. The next morning, I made sure I had enough quarters to buy a paper. As I headed to the rack, I saw a now familiar figure. It was the man who gave me the quarter the day before.

I don’t know if he remembered me from the morning prior, but his oversized sunglasses and his build told me it was the same guy. Kind folks are easy to remember.

No matter what, I said to myself I was going to repay him. He had come through for me, so I figured it was time for me to step to the plate. I greeted him and told him he lent me a quarter the day before and I was repaying him.

He took the quarter, chuckled and went on his way. We hardly spoke, didn’t even formally introduce ourselves, but the incident spoke volumes.

In this day and age of Bernie Madoff cheats and Enron scandals, there are good people in this world, even those who don’t really know you and vice-versa. A quarter doesn’t buy much these days, but on that morning last June in just a brief moment, it bought goodwill, kindness and generosity.

To the man with the oversized shades, a very Merry Christmas, because sir, you keep Christmas all the year through.

You do the same, and, as always, be good sports. This time of year, you hear it often, but it bears repeating – Merry Christmas. Celebrate now and keep the season’s spirit throughout the year.