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Christmas Memories 2023
Michael J. Herman  -- Mr. Motivation -- The World's Biggest Motivational Force Michael J. Herman -- Mr. Motivation -- The World's Biggest Motivational Force
Granada Hills, CA
Tuesday, December 26, 2023


Christmas Memories 2023

©2023 Michael J. Herman All rights Reserved

The older I get the more in love I become with memories from my childhood. It's especially potent at Christmas Time. While my family never officially celebrated Christmas in an organized fashion, it was always a time for the gathering of family, fun, and celebration. Maybe that was organized after all?

One of my very favorite memories of Christmas time is from 1978 when I was 12 and my last winter living in Upstate New York.

My dad's friend of many years was Sy Katz.

Sy was the epitome of the 1970's bon vivant. Young, good-looking, wealthy, and smart. He owned half of a men's fine clothing store on 3rd Ave and 57th St.

One day in mid-October Sy phoned my dad. "George, I'm half-owner of The Square Lemon, a high-end men's clothing store in Midtown Mid-town Manhattan. The front does well, but the Back is empty. What can we do to make money between Halloween and the end of the year?"

They talked a little and the next day my Dad and I went to Atlantic City Toys & Games in Brooklyn, a few doors down from Henry Shores warehouse where my dad bought capsules and gum for the vending machines.  In that factory giant toys were made. The man showed us tons of options. Wind-up toys, cars and trucks, toy guns, games, puzzles, bicycles, cars, dolls, and more. Dad said no, I need something different. Something special."

Then we entered the plush section and my dad exclaimed, "That's it!"

So we loaded up the cargo van with ¾ of a gross (108) pieces.

What made them different is that some were gigantic and others were tiny size. The rest were everything in-between. It was awesome in every way.

A 6' plush giraffe, with five others in descending sizes.

A 5' massive Saint Bernard with a beer keg dangling from its neck, with three smaller Saint Bernards of different colors beside it.

A 4' turtle and a 6' golden lion with its family. A 3' parrot, a 4' horse, a 5' long snake, a 10' dolphin and killer whale, a 5' bumble bee with spider, and of course families of giant teddy bears of all types and sizes.

 It was a wonderland of child imagination. It was a child's fantasy come true, practically my own toy store!

We delivered the toys to Sy's store, spent a couple of hours setting up the space, and we left.

The very next day Sy phoned.

"How many more plush do you have because we just sold every single one?"

"WHAT!" yelled my Dad?

We couldn't believe it!

Back to the factory we went with a 28' box truck filled to the gills.

And two days later, the shop was again empty.

This is how it went several times per week until the last day of business on Christmas Eve.

When we closed the store on Christmas Eve, on the night of the lease expiration, we were all joyful for a tremendous entrepreneurial experiment gone superbly, and melancholy for the end of the Season and the end of bringing joy to so many families.

When people walked into The Square Lemon, their eyes lit up, their mouths opened with fascination, and their faces gave birth to radiant smiles. Children that lived inside each and every one of them were set free. It was a shining and glorious moment in time.

For decades I've wanted to open another store just like The Square Lemon, but I now realize that you can't capture lightning twice. But what a moment it was! A moment that exists now only in my vivid and brilliant, loving memory. And one I will cherish every Christmas as long as I live.

Michael J. Herman is an award-winning author and copywriter. His business creates breakthrough communications for businesses large and small.

Reach Michael J. Herman @ www.michaeljherman.com  or 9818) 894-4610

Please let me know if and how I can be of value.
Michael J. Herman, Speaker-Writer-Author-Entrepreneur
(818) -894-4610  |  M: (818) 441-9288
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Dateline: Granada Hills, CA United States
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