To The Editor:
I have thought for many days just what I would say for a long-time school mate, Bill Beeler, and the Santa Claus to children, some so young they couldn't walk or talk and some even afraid of Santa.
I knew Bill during some of our school years, he getting me into trouble whispering, or I getting him in trouble for the same reason.
Old Bill went off to the Navy before graduation.
Yes, some volunteered, and some were even drafted out of school during World War II.
I was one of the lucky ones getting out after graduation and volunteering, but for the Army.
Old Bill and I remained friends these past many years, and when I retired, Bill made my signs, visiting many times just sitting around and talking of the old days.
These days, and the future, Bill needed some comfortable chairs and I had them for him.
I needed signs made and Bill was there for me.
I felt bad when visiting him as he was getting down and I loaned him a wheel chair for home, but he said he was going to keep going as long as possible, but had the chair as back-up.
I knew old Bill was worse than he let on.
Well, for perhaps the last 50 years finally had him looking to just rest and while resting at the Clay County Health Center, he was very unhappy that he knew he couldn't make the 2007 Christmas in the Park Parade, and my last visit Saturday evening, I found him sleeping and I visited him for awhile and finally wrote a note that I promised to return Sunday, and asked the nursing staff to read it to him.
Got the word on returning from church just that afternoon that "Santa" had another calling as his daughter phoned to let me know.
I will miss you stopping by my house at any hour while you would be in between visits to children activities.
Charley Brown said it was an honor to fill in for you at the parade and we know that you would have warmed the hearts of all the kids and parents too.
Miss you old Bill. Clay County and Brazil will also.
"Old Sarge" Marion Eveland,