Dec 23, 2010

Christmas in Rod Wilmoth’s Honor

My good friend who wrote a wonderful chapter in my new book coming out in April 2011, Rodney Wilmoth, told this amusing and touching Christmas story several years ago.

A certain family had the custom of putting large plywood letters bordered with Christmas lights on their roof each year. The letters spelled “NOEL.” It was an unusual piece of decoration. One year the father was a little slow in getting the letters up on the roof. For this reason, finally late one Saturday afternoon, in mid-December, he got the project under way. The letters were large and hard to handle. It was a very windy afternoon, and he was heard to mutter some rather “un-Christmas-y” comments under his breath as he struggled with the large plywood letters.

When at last he finished, he climbed down the ladder triumphantly, instructing the children to plug in the lights. When the lights came on and blazed against the dark sky, everybody rolled in laughter. He had put the letters backward. Instead of “NOEL,” he had spelled “LEON.”

I never did learn what the errant father did, or said, about the situation. I was afraid to ask, but I think I might have left the letters just as they were. Very few people know what “NOEL” means anyway, although we sing it each year, but everybody knows somebody named “LEON.”

If Leon came by and saw his name in lights on a house, I am sure he would be touched. May you too be touched by the spirit of Leon this Christmas.

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