Good Hilltown Folks Offer Nourishment & Encouragement to One Family Down South

God Bless Y’all Every One!

Oh, you are some generous people!

I called Regina Jones day before yesterday and said,  “Regina Jones!  I got a song to sing for you.”

She said, “What’s that, Baby?”
I said,  “You better not cry, you better not pout, you better not get in any fights, I’m telling you why—“
And she just started laughing and whooping and said,  “Santa Claus coming HERE?”

I said, yes indeed!  “I was telling some people about your situation and they gave me some money to get you a few things with.”

What I didn’t tell her (because I didn’t know it yet) was that these folks have so far given me over seven hundred dollars!

So here’s what I’m doing…

I bought a grand selection of warm clothes and nicer (a little dressier) clothing (yea, Wilson’s Department Store and ther fabulous Christmas sales!) for Justin and Regina, an Ipod with a download gift card for Justin (it’s always good to be like the other kids, and unlike bicycles, Ipods are easily hidden and less easily stolen), some personal hygiene necessities for a growing boy who needs to look and feel his best, a big, warm fleece throw for Regina, a selection of healthy holiday foods that could be shipped, and then some pocket money for each of them.

And there was plenty left over.

I then (and with the help of another Secret Santa) spent a little of it on stocking stuffers for Justin’s two cousins Jasmine and Kirsten;  very sweet girls whose situation is a little better, but not a lot: some nice-smelling girly soaps and lotions, bracelets and socks from Ashfield Hardware:  things that fourteen and eight year-old girls need.

And there was still more left over.

So, a little more is going to go into a few things for Laminor.  Now I know I didn’t tell you about Laminor, but he is a quadriplegic as a result of a gunshot wound (or three) from about five years ago.  I’ve know him since he was five;  he’s in his mid-to-late twenties now. I always adored Laminor, recognizing he had strong goodness in him, but no one else thought so, so and he lived up to their wretched expectations.  He now lives in a nursing home near Baton Rouge and, from what I understand, doesn’t get many visitors.  I last saw him in 2005 when I went to clean out my house just after Katrina.  He broke my heart and I think of him often, unable to give him even a fraction of what he needs in life.  His well of need goes all the way through the earth near to China.  But a few surprise Christmas gifts will be a huge thrill for him and it will let him know that the world still knows he’s there.

I think there will still be some money left over and I am putting that into an account for Justin.  I see him when I go down for Jazz Fest every year, and now that I know how to get in touch with him otherwise, we can establish a connection for when he needs things later in the year—summer clothing, school supplies and the like.  He can contact me directly and we can work out what he needs and get him the money or the items he needs to grow with, in that manner.

I will report again next week on the outcome of Christmas in the Jones’ room at the homeless shelter.

And truly, you guys have made such a real and deep impact this year on the lives of five good people.  Some are just getting started in life and have much to climb over and to look forward to. Some made some unfortunate decision in life, but are living with the consequences and, had they really understood they had more choices long ago, it might have turned out differently.  But everyone deserves happiness and care and you guys have showered it upon these five this year.  And everyone of us thanks you, thanks you, thanks you.

By the way,  I told Regina these boxes were coming because I wanted to make sure they didn’t go missing.  “They won’t get stolen, huh?”  I said.

“Oh Baby no!” she said,  “Everybody knows not to mess with no Regina Jones and her stuff!  I will be waiting for those boxes every day until they gets here!”

So your investment is in safe hands.

And truly, it is an investment.  Remind me to tell you the story of Craig one day.



Nan Parati - Elmer's StoreNan Parati

Nan is the proprietor of Elmer’s Store in Ashfield, MA. A New England transplant from the Deep South, Nan shares her southern wit, wisdom and charm every week in her column, “Notes from Nan.” Share dinner with her every Friday at Elmer’s. Menu’s are posted with her column.

One Comment on “Good Hilltown Folks Offer Nourishment & Encouragement to One Family Down South

  1. Nan writes:

    So I talked to Regina Jones yesterday and she said, “Nan Parati, why you sent me all that White Folks food?”

    I said, “What White Folks food? Which are you talking about?”

    She said, “Like that Vermont sausage!”

    I said, “That’s good sausage! What’d you do with it?”

    She said, “I gave it to the white folks! I found me some nice white folks who needed a Christmas and I give it to them! And they was happy! They loved-ed it!”

    I said, “That was very nice of you! Did you like your other things?”

    ”Oh yes!” she said, “I got my blue shirt on now! It looks real nice for the holidays! I put it on Christmas morning and ain’t took it off yet! And that jacket you sent Justin with the lining in it? That thing WARM! We’re all wearing it! They got some warm clothes up there in Massatuschits, boy! It must be cold up there! That thing WARM! That white blanket you sent me? I’m keeping that until I get my house. That’s too good to use around here. That thing is beautiful!”

    I then talked to Justin who thanked me very politely for his gifts, less graphically, but warmly all the same.

    We talked at length, all of us and I know that what they really, really need and want is a computer. I knew that before Christmas, but couldn’t imagine I’d actually have enough money to buy something that expensive, but as it happens, you nice folks have sent me over $2500! So I have enough left to buy a computer, which Justin needs for school and Regina wants because, how do you do anything these days without a computer? So now that everything is going on sale post Christmas, I will find one that suits their needs and send it to them for their ultimate surprise.

    I had said last week that I wanted to send some things to Laminor. I called the nursing home where I visited him and they told me he was gone and that they didn’t have a record of him or where he would have gone to. (She probably couldn’t have divulged his whereabouts to me anyway, if he wasn’t there.) So now I have to see if I can find him. The last I knew, his family had stayed in Houston after Katrina, but they may have moved back to Louisiana now. I still have his gifts all packed up for him and need to find him so that that I can send them on.

    So there will be further updates! Stay tuned and thank you again for everything you did for Regina, Justin and even some lucky white folks who got Vermont sausage!

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