I’d like to share some Peggy stories. Peggy was the building manager where I had my first office after moving back from Michigan in the late 1980. She assisted Tom Jackson in his business and in leasing space in the Jackson Office Building on Main Street in Greenwood.
One afternoon Peggy came into my small office and asked if I had any plans for the evening. She explained that she was a member of a euchre club and they were having a party and were one person short. I accepted the invitation to play.
Upon arriving I was announced as the substitute player at the all-girls euchre club. I didn’t recall Peggy explaining the all-girls part to me earlier, but it worked out wonderfully. I met this gal named Lyn. Thanks, Peggy.
A few years later she showed up carrying a Santa suit. Peggy explained that her mother had made the suit for Peggy’s dad to wear. I was aware that Peggy had lost both of her parents a few years earlier. I could tell that she was emotional.
She asked me if I would enjoy putting the suit back into action. She pulled it out of the plastic dry-cleaners bag, and I touched the beautiful, velvet suit. It came complete with boots, the belt and facial hair. Did you know that official velvet Santa pants do not have pockets? He doesn’t need ID, keys, money or a driver’s license.
I started using it that season. Our grandsons were fairly young but smart and inquisitive. I was sure that I wouldn’t be able to get close to any of them because they would recognize my voice or something. Lyn and I would drive to their house, and Lyn would go inside. I would wait a few minutes and then wave to them through a window. An adult from the house would deliver a letter to Santa to me, and I would vanish down the street.
I established a yearly route and visited homes, parties, offices and schools. I always looked forward to the weeks following Thanksgiving. Because I didn’t solicit Santa visits, as families grew older and younger families discovered a Santa that was a family friend. I finally hung up the suit and began reliving all those memories in my mind each year.
A couple of years ago I had an idea. I contacted Peggy Hart’s daughter and told her that I had her grandfather’s Santa suit. I explained to her that I had used it for a few years and I was hoping that she would accept it back into her family.
We connected and I returned the suit. For a while I really missed seeing it hanging in the closet. Now I smile when I see that it is missing because it is helping families enjoy the Christmas season.
I have been smiling since I started pecking on the keyboard. Walter and Peggy always had that effect on me.