Recently, I was “chatting” with a family friend, Don Williams. (Don and my parents have been friends for longer than I’ve been alive. Don calls my Dad “Humman” – his southernized version of Herman.) Our chat was via email and, though it was on an unrelated topic, I starting thinking about how he helped me, and Magnus, in ways he may not realize. Often in life, interactions with one’s parents’ friends are limited. As a teen, I knew where Don worked (a major insurance company) and I knew his wife, Betty, and their 2 children with whom, because I am a bit younger than they are, I didn’t have much interaction beyond church. Sometime along the way, I learned that part of Don’s job was disposing of assets of the insurance company when they became surplus – furniture, for example. I think I knew because Dad acquired a file cabinet or two from him. A few years later, I started my photography business, and rented office space. I needed to outfit the office with file cabinets, equipment cabinets and more. Dad said call “Mr. Williams” and I did. I was amazed when I was shown a warehouse of surplus office furniture and fixtures. I found what I needed and I paid the minimal prices for the pieces I needed and moved them to my new office. Years later, when starting Magnus, Melissa and I visited the warehouse again, acquiring more items, most of which are still in use today! Don, by doing his job of getting rid of stuff, helped me/us get our start. It was probably a small detail for Don, but it meant a great deal to us to be able to afford good quality furniture and fixtures that are still serviceable today. This stretched our budget and allowed us to spend our limited resources on other things. Don’s kindness made a difference to us in ways that reverberate and inspire. Thank you Mr. Williams!
David’s parents, Carole and Herman, have (or in Carole’s case, had) some wonderful friends. Herman, like me, has many friends from childhood, including someone with whom he attended kindergarten. Among Carole and Herman’s friends are a tight knit group fondly referred to as “the dinner club.” This group of friends used to go out once a month for dinner together, then take turns hosting dessert for the group in their home. Don Williams, and his wife, Betty, were members of the dinner club. Don and Betty are truly two of the nicest, kindest, people I have ever met. Since I met them in 1986, they have always treated me like family, greeting me with a smile and a hug. Luckily for Carole and Herman, Don and Betty moved to the same continuous care facility after deciding to downsize their home. Similar to David’s parents, Don and Betty are fortunate to be able to enjoy their retirement in the lovely surroundings on the banks of Julington Creek. I share David’s appreciation for all of the surplus furniture we bought over the years, thanks to Don’s help, and I am looking forward to seeing both Don and Betty again, hopefully sometime soon! I’m looking forward to their smiles and hugs!