People Out Loud: Gifts for the community

December 2012 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

By Dixon Bledsoe

Dear Santa Claus:

I realize you are super busy this time of year but there are a few things I would like to share with you. I promise I will keep it brief.

Please bring us more people like Delbert Hupp. The workboot footprints he left throughout the entire Drakes Crossing community are going to be hard to fill. He was the man who, with his wonderful wife Barbara, started with nothing, worked his tail off, reaped the benefits of hard work, and shared the fruits of his labor witha those in need. His family remembers him as full of “Delbertisms,” sayings that might be hilarious, witty, incredibly nice or a fun sort of naughty. But keep him forever on your “nice” list, please. A Christmas tree industry icon, a volunteer firefighter, a family man, and a benevolent soul, Delbert was a class act and generous to the community and anyone who needed help. I wish I could have gotten to know him better, but I learned so much about him from his life celebration at the Oregon Garden this summer. More than 600 people came to say goodbye. His guests were served prime rib dinners because he wanted that for them. We toasted him with a shot of his favorite, Pendleton Whiskey, and took home a tree seedling in his honor. His entire family sat together, including his Hispanic crew not linked by blood but by respect for the man. Barbara knew Delbert would have wanted that. It is a good family, and he was a good man. Could we have some more people like him, please?

Here is a tricky question – To whom do you give YOUR list? I was just curious.

We could use some leaders, Santa. Oh, there are lots of would-be leaders, not built of self-less, durable mettle but of self-aggrandizement. Leaders lead. We are in the woods where it is dark and cold. The “fiscal cliff” is upon us nationally, the world is a powder keg, and yet the so-called leaders are still posturing for less than noble purposes. Can you bring leaders who know that solutions lie in seeking commonality, not in yelling louder or drowning in their own dogma. That would be a welcome gift, St. Nick.

Can we have more of the joy that children bring, please? Like the blue-eyed, cherub-faced first-grader at Eugene Field School who, when asked what good deeds she had to report this year replied, “I took a nap.” When pressed for acts with a little more substance, Santa, this sweetheart came back later and seriously but happily proclaimed, “I did something, Ms. Lisa. I found another good thing I did. I eavesdropped on my parents.” Or the tiny little boy that called the local food bank, asking what he could do to help the poor. Like the song says, “Jesus loves the little children.” I know you do, too, Santa. Can you bring us more wisdom to do right by the children?

Your gift bag is big, so could you please toss in more Arctic ice? It seems to be melting at a record pace. If space is tight, maybe just bring a bunch of good jobs with living wages.

I wasn’t able to find your return policy, but maybe you could ask for a web page for us to see new products, customer reviews, and especially instructions on how to make gift returns while staying in your good graces.

When you make deliveries this Christmas, could you pick up Lindsay Lohan, Donald Trump, the U.S. Congress, and Bashar al-Assad? These “gag gifts” won’t be popular at our next office White Elephant party.

Here’s wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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