Friday, December 26, 2008

gifts given

After the Bijou Jubilee announcement earlier this month, I started walking toward the Mast General Store with the intention of looking for a Christmas gift for my friend Bean. Instead I ended up across the street at J's Mega Mart. I had read about the unusual store and its impending closing in The Bottom Line blog. Unlike the Sunsphere, J's really is a wig shop. In fact, some hair products are visible in the distant background of one of my photos below. Reporter Carly Harrington got herself a wig while she was there. She wrote that the store will stay open until they sell off their widely varied inventory. I saw two unusual Santa figurines that looked like they had been there forever. What a perfect gift for my friend! I bought one of the Santas and cleaned it up with a Q-tip before mailing it across the country to Bean.

When my wife and I went to Branson and Hot Springs this summer, we were unable to find any souvenir Christmas ornaments. Byron Chesney read of my plight and offered to help. His sister lives near Hot Springs National Park and could buy one at a gift shop for me. I wrote to Byron to say that I would gladly repay his sister. After she mailed the ornament to Byron, the following photo arrived in my email inbox.

Byron and I arranged a time and place for me to hand over some cash and for him to give me the ornament. I didn't mind that it cost more for his sister to mail the box from Arkansas to Tennessee than it did for the ornament itself. I knew that my wife would be more impressed by the effort than by the price anyhow. Inspired by this success, I went home and immediately tracked down a gift shop in Branson willing to sell me an ornament over the phone. It would have been easier if they had a website. The patient sales clerk described several ornaments to me until I picked one that sounded like it would be less tacky than the rest. I must have chosen wisely because my wife was surprised, puzzled and pleased by the gift. She was moved by the thought of all those people conspiring to make her Christmas special.

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Anonymous Jere (Frank's wife) said...

Thank you Byron and to your sister too. Frank and I were so disappointed to leave our vacation without ornaments from those two stops. What a surprise and a great story of how Frank acquired them.

Blogger Byron Chesney said...

You are very welcome. It was tough not to blog about getting to meet Frank (again) until after he presented the ornament. I guess it's clear now!

Blogger Frank Murphy said...

Byron - I hope I didn't do anything too embarrassing when I stopped by your office! Thanks again to you and Jennifer for your efforts.


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