“When my father passed away I was 7 and it was just me and my mom. My mom had a third-grade education. But we never knew we were poor. The family was good, the community was good.

If it hadn’t have been for Mr. Lang’s store … I would have never had a Christmas tree. My mom went there and got a Christmas tree and paid 50 cents a month until that $2 Christmas tree was paid off. And that was fantastic. That’s small town, open hearts, good people …

You didn’t have everything you have now where everybody has a handout. If their hand was out it was because they helped someone.”

Marty Bee
Creston, Illinois