February 23, 2006
Tifton-- There is enough bad news in the world to make someone question: Is there is anything good happening anymore?
A man who believes strongly in making someone's memories last longer than they normally would, while being a genuine nice guy at the same time.
Glenn Ford enjoys reviewing his precious memories held in a cardboard box, but he wasn't expecting a surprise in the mail one day. It was a plain, brown envelope personally addressed to him with a Tifton return address, but he wasn't expecting anything special. "I was wondering what it was," says Glenn.
It wasn't a bill, but a memory sealed in time, a laminated newspaper clipping, one of three he'd receive from someone who delights in creating excitement. "Good excitement on the other end when they open their mail," says George Bailey, who spends hours doing for others, helping people feel a little special in an impersonal world.
"Many of them don't know me," says George, but probably one of their relatives would recognize his name since he operated a tire business for decades and had distinctive radio commercials. He also taught Dale Carnegie classes.
He long since hung up the tire tool and retired only to find a hobby that would seem like a job to many people. "I may stay at the desk to midnight, one o'clock, two o'clock," says George with a quick laugh. "I may not work the next day either."
George Bailey has his own special kind of fun, meticulously adding lasting value to a clipping that would probably get torn, discolored or lost sooner than later. "They have something for history," says George, who gets something more than personal satisfaction. "I've learned a lot of patience. I stick with it. That's what laminating has taught me," says George.
He gives away his surprises, never asking for anything, never expecting anything in return, a real free gift that costs him, though. "A roll of stamps costs something now. And, the big envelopes that I mail takes 87 cents," says George.
The expense quickly mounts. "I spend approximately $150 a month." Still cheaper than other hobbies. "What if I was a hunter or fisherman, I'd spend more than that, wouldn't I," says George.
He particularly delights in sending birth announcements and finds telephone books and city directories invaluable in finding addresses. "I love babies. Sometimes sending this picture makes the parents more loveable to that child," says George.
For five years he has created surprises and even though he doesn't know many of the people who receive his surprises, most of them find their destination. Very few get returned.
George Bailey delights in making people feel special for a few minutes with the purest form of giving by not expecting anything in return.