Small town Christmas

It was 1987 and a young boy named Phil was coming to Greenville for Christmas. He had lived with his family far away in the south Pacific for four years. From this island country of extreme heat, palm trees, sandy beaches, malaria and barefoot living, he came home to enjoy the holidays in snowy, cold Maine.

There was Aunt Tracy’s amazing pizza, Grammy’s baked beans and molasses cookies, fun with cousins not seen for years, a real Christmas tree, and an afternoon of shopping for presents in downtown Greenville. Phil especially wanted to get something nice for his Grammy.

indian storePhil meandered through the Indian Store, where he found plenty of choices for gifts for his siblings, Mom and Dad. He checked prices, counted his money; he had  just enough left to find the perfect gift for Grammy.

He headed across the street to Sander’s Store (est 1852), that famous emporium owned by the Sanders family. It just so happened that Gramps was there having a chat with the proprietor of said store, Brud ( Harry Sanders 3 ). Brud and Gramps (Edwin Schuyler Walden) went way back. (Both est. 1922)sanders store

Phil looked around and saw it –  a carved squirrel, sitting on a log and eating an acorn. Grammy would love it. He picked it up; it was oh, so perfect! Then he looked at the price and his heart sunk. 25 dollars. Way too much. He put it back and sighed.

Across the store, Gramps surreptitiously slipped 20 dollars to Brud, and said, ‘Tell him it’s on sale.’

So Brud did that very thing.

Phil now had the perfect gift for his Grammy and wow, what a sale!!! He walked out of Sander’s Store happy as a clam and walking on air!

Small towns are personal. Gramps and Brud were probably delivered by the same doctor. Gramps  always opined that Brud was born before him by ten days and he could never catch up. They went through school together and were part of the greatest generation, serving overseas. They both came home and eventually raised their families on (well named) Pleasant Street.

These two men – now grandfathers- were delighted to help a young boy buy the very best gift for his Grammy.IMG_2337.JPG

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