Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Angel in Disguise

If you had a hundred dollar bill back in 1964, how would you have spent it at Christmas time?

Of course, there are many possibilities. Parents would probably use it to buy presents for their children.

An Easy Bake Oven was a popular item for the girls, while the Mighty Tonka Dump Truck was desired by young boys. That Tonka appeared in the ads to be extra strong, as it didn’t even crush with an elephant stepping on it.

A teenage daughter might have liked a collection of the new fashion – mini skirts. Schools and churches strongly disapproved, but the teen age girls thought they were quite stylish. For the music lover, an 8-track tape player would have been an appreciated gift.

Or you could have purchased 2,000 first-class postage stamps, or 400 gallons of gasoline.

Dad and Pal 001However, “The Angel in Disguise” had a different idea. When he lost both parents as a young child, Rudy learned to appreciate the small things in life. He was the kind of man who would try to brighten up a child’s world by buying the youngster an ice cream cone.

Rudy didn’t have a lot, but whatever he had, he was willing to share. When a neighbor needed a ride to the doctor, Rudy gladly took him. His face usually wore a smile, and he enjoyed making others smile, too.

Then one day, Rudy found himself earning more money than he had ever earned before. In 1964, his take-home pay was over $200 a week. Feeling this rich was a new sensation. He decided to always carry a hundred dollar bill in his billfold, just in case it was needed for something.

One Saturday, right before Christmas, Rudy and his wife came into town. He had heard that the Salvation Army needed money to buy toys for local children. Walking past one of the Salvation Army Christmas kettles, he reached over and put in a hundred dollar bill. Then walked on, as if he had tossed in a dollar.

His wife knew what had transpired, and she smiled at him proudly.

On Monday, a small article in the Daily Jeffersonian bore the heading:

‘Angel In Disguise’ Gives $100

No one knew, but the two of them, until twenty year later their daughter, the writer of this story, discovered the newspaper clipping at her mother’s house dated 12-14-64. When she asked, mom told the story of the Angel in their family.

That clipping stays in a safe place at my home today as a reminder of the importance of giving, not only financially, but of ourselves during the Christmas season and all year long.

Be an Angel to someone today.


Comments on: "Angel in Disguise" (8)

  1. Love this angel. So encouraging to know that you were raised by such a man.

    • Dad was very special in my life and in the lives of others. Everyone has kind memories of him. My parents enjoyed sharing whatever they had and I try to follow their example when possible.

  2. Beautiful story! Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

  3. Bev, I don’t recall you ever telling this story before, did you just learn about it?
    From us to you…

    • I felt it was a rather personal tale and I was afraid people might feel I was boasting. But it seems people enjoy hearing these real life tales of caring people. I’ve known this for probably thirty years, but decided to write about it this year as a Christmas story for our local newspaper.

  4. I remember reading the clipped out story of the $100 bill donated in the Salvation Army kettle in the early 1990s. It was tucked away in my grandmother’s dresser drawer. I never asked about the story but knew it was Gramps. I am sure he had a big smile on his face while giving his money to helping others.

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