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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Tie (02/28/13)

TITLE: Mr. Roy and His Ties
By Lisa Hudson


Mr. Roy and His Ties

I was almost finished with my shopping, but I knew I couldn’t go one step further unless I could sit down and just rest for a moment. My hands were cramping and purple indentations were embedded in them from the bag handles. It felt good to finally sit down and take a deep breath. A nice young man appeared like an angel and asked if I would like something to drink. I could have kissed him, but instead, I said, “Oh, thank you! Yes!” I felt very warm from all of the walking, but a mocha-coffee sounded like heaven to me, so I ordered one for myself. “Be right back!” he smiled and walked away.

One of my favorite things to do when I’m shopping is to sit and watch people, especially during the holidays! Every walk of life seems to come out of the woodwork, all for my personal entertainment. A young mother was trying to pick up her screaming toddler who was lying right in the middle of the floor, when the young man returned with my coffee. I paid him for my order, plus a little extra. After all, it is Christmas! I looked back to where the mother and child were, and she had the little tyke up in her arms, wiping tears from his chubby, little face. “I remember those days…” I smiled to myself.

At the table next to me were two girls, obviously sisters by their conversation. “Let’s just get daddy a tie!” said the girl with a ponytail. “We can’t!” said curly hair. “We got him a tie last year, and I bet the year before that! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him wear ‘em anyway!” Ahh…The ‘what do we get dad for Christmas?’ dilemma! “Ties aren’t so bad”, I accidentally said out loud. As the two girls continued their debate, I smiled upon remembering ‘Mr. Roy, and his ties; His silly, crazy, wonderful, ties.’

I remember when we first visited our church, and there he was. He was extremely tall and he had the most welcoming smile and laugh. His salt and pepper hair stood on end from where he had pushed his reading glasses up, resting on top of his head, and he was wearing a bright, blue tie with a picture of Scooby-Doo right in the middle of it. It was an adorable picture of the silly, cartoon dog, yet it matched his personality perfectly. It was obvious the children of the church loved this man who was really just one big kid himself!

Mr. Roy’s ties were a natural part of his character. Christmastime was especially festive, because his ties might have a big and jolly Santa, or a Santa Mickey Mouse, or Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo in the snow. On more serious occasions like Easter, his ties would be toned down a little, and he would wear a more subtle colored tie with multiple crosses or one of my favorites, the lion and the lamb lying down together in a field. They say some of us wear our hearts on our sleeve. Mr. Roy wore his on his ties.

This giant of a man was at every church event if he was able. He was also the leader of a special summer camp for handicapped children, where he would take his home-made, automatic water-balloon-filler, and super-powered air gun that would shoot water balloons fifty feet into the air! No wonder the kids loved this crazy child-man. As he would share stories about camp, he would openly wipe away the tears that would well up in his eyes and roll down his cheek. His love for the Lord and for the children was something to behold. One of his favorite outreaches during the holidays was filling Christmas shoe-boxes through Samaritan’s Purse. One desire he always had was to be able to personally hand out the filled boxes to the children who were going to receive them. Again, the tears flowed freely when he started talking about the possibility of seeing their little faces when they received their gift.

Mr. Roy was called home in September, so he didn’t get to prepare the shoe boxes, or get to pass them out to the beautiful children so far away. The children of our church miss him terribly, as do we adults who probably took him for granted because he was so faithful. I bet he loved receiving ties on Christmas morning.

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This article has been read 321 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jody Day 03/07/13
Lovely story. I do like the way you led into the main theme, but I would have just started with Mr. Roy. Then you'd have many more words you could play with.

Good job! Keep writing:)
Lynn Moses03/07/13
I think everyone needs a Mr. Roy in their lives! This is a great story. I love the line about how he wore his heart on his tie. I do agree that you could have started the story with Roy. Right now it sort of seems like 2 separate (but interesting) stories. Well done.
Noel Mitaxa 03/11/13
Very descriptive and entertaining read, which brought me right into your setting. The only weakness is that you could have very easily taken us further with the girls and their gift plans by taking us through their conversation. (A secondary device might have been to keep the stages in the coversation in time with your progress through your coffee.)
Mr Roy is a character who I would like to get to know, because you have introduced him to us so credibly, so I'm looking forward to another entry about him.
You have very strong story-telling skills.
Bonnie Bowden 03/11/13
I loved Mr. Roy and his ties. I could picture this memorable character.

It would have been helpful, if there had double spacing between quotations.
Alicia Renkema03/12/13
I might confuse you with what I am going to say because I didn't see your "eaves dropping" on the sister's conversation and remembrance of Roy and his ties as two separate stories at all. To me, one very naturally led to the other, although you could have done what Noel suggested and brought us back into the girls. But you probably would have run out of words. Nope, I think I like it as is in all of its "warm-fuzziness." I am not visual at all, and I could just picture that store with those girls trying to figure out what to get their dad. Then you, as you begin to drift with your memories of Roy. I too loved the comment about Roy wearing his emotions on His ties like some do on their sleeves. What a wonderful, precious man it sounds like he was, and it is a reminder that I think we all take many people in our lives for granted even if they aren't quite as cheerful as Mr. Roy. I too would love to see another installment on him. And Noel is right, you do have strong story telling skills. I know I will enjoy your continued work at FW. Blessings...
lynn gipson 03/12/13
I think this is a lovely story, which you tell so well. Mr. Roy sounds like a person I would love to know. I agree, you should have started out with Mr. Roy, but as others have said you have a gift for story telling, and a talent for writing. Good job!
Judith Gayle Smith03/13/13
Beautifully and expressively written and felt. What are you doing at the Beginner's level?
Bea Edwards 03/13/13
I think you did an admirable job telling this heartwarming story.
Welcome to the challenge!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/13/13
This is a lovely testimonial. I think you did a fine job of representing the love that Mister Roy had in his heart for everyone.

Make sure when someone different speaks that you start a new paragraph each time, even if it's just one word. Often when telling a true story, it can be easy to jump around because the events are in your head, but remember you need to take the reader on that journey too, so sometimes you can omit certain things like the details of the shopping trip, but also may need to clarify the transitions for the reader.

I think you did a great job overall. It was an interesting an inspirational story. You definitely have a way with words. I look forward to reading more of your work. Good job.

Each time
Linda Berg 03/13/13
You developed Mr. Roy so well I feel like I know him.

Keep writing.