BY-WAYS - 10/21/43 -


The angels of ancient Judea I know a bright angel in Cleveland,
Are pictured as Beings with wings, Without any halo or wings -
Ethereal - haloed - unearthly - Who walks and who talks like a woman,
Who did such miraculous things. But does such miraculous things.

The "woman of the year" - for my vote - is a quiet little woman in a big department store. Unmarried, unharried, unobtrusive, unaffected, un-permanented, unveneered with red nail polish and mascara - and slightly underweight. Slender as a willow, she has dark brown hair, long and braided into a coil, dark hazel eyes - kind, alert, "knowing" eyes - a sweet mouth with an upward curve, and - above all - a shining countenance. I spotted her four years ago, as someone extra special. Do you happen to remember - you, dear, stout-hearted souls, who have waded through my stuff for four years - do you remember the girl with the "shining countenance," a total stranger, who gave me a ticket to Fritz Kreisler's concert with the Cleveland Symphony? The house was sold out - in my financial bracket - but I drove down there (twelve miles) and tagged onto the long line at the window, hoping a "miracle" would happen. It did... One of the angel's three friends did not show up - and she offered the ticket to me, brushing off, with real finesse, my offer to pay for it. That little peach-colored ticket stub (November 5 - $1.50) is pasted in my scrap-book. It was my bright talisman - and is still like a jewel, associated always with the great Kreisler and a great little woman. I learned her name and her business address from my seat-mate. At that time she was secretary to the advertising manager of one of our largest stores. Through the store I learned her home address - and, at Christmas time, I sent her the most beautiful Christmas card I could find - with a personal message of sincere gratitude. In due time came a gracious note of thanks for the card, and an enclosure - two tickets to the season's most delightful play at The Play house, "What a Life." (Henry Aldrich). You just can't keep up with people like her. (Virgil and I loved every minute of that play. So good for parents.)

How many good and shining deeds she has done in her thirty-odd years only her Heavenly Father knows. But let me tell you the latest. It is so wonderful that I set aside my half-written column about the Juniors (the darlings can wait) because this thing she has just done stands out like a Christmas star. This week the Cleveland Press carried a picture of the "angel" - Miss Ida Szabo is her name - and her secretary, tying up Christmas packages for service men. But here is the whole story. For many years the Universal Jig Co. -13404 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland, set aside one thousand dollars to buy Christmas gifts for its customers, as a good will gesture. Last year the company decided to spend the money for decks of cards for soldiers overseas, sent out through the American Legion. This year Mr. Wallace, the purchasing agent, decided to let Miss Szabo handle the $1,000. She is not connected with the Universal Jig Co.; she is now director of the personal service bureau at Taylor's - the large department store downtown to which I referred. Being an angel, she took on this gigantic and honor-bound task. One thousand dollars in her little, slender hands! What did she do? She called the Press in an effort to secure the names of men who would not be getting Christmas packages. She was advised to contact orphanages and similar organizations in the city, to get names and addresses. She did - the Press related. Of course she did! Two hundred and fifty beautifully wrapped packages (Christmas ribbon and all), each containing hard candy, cigarettes, cards, shaving cream, razor blades, games, and books, are on their way to warm and cheer and strengthen the hearts of motherless, homeless boys who are fighting to preserve OUR HOMES.

God bless them! And God bless their ministering angel! (And of course God bless the Universal Jig Co.) I don't know what a jig is, but if any of you need one - or even want one - just let me know. Oh, it's a beautiful world, after all!

Florence B. Taylor
4501 Lilac Road,
South Euclid, Ohio

Next - 10/28/43 - To Our Boys in the Service

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