December 2012 - Vol.  64.

From Father to Son: Things My Dad Taught Me About Life
 by Ted Kennedy III

3. The Debtor Who Wouldn't Go Away

All kids love to hear stories about their ancestors, and Dad was excellent at telling them. One of the most memorable characters in the cast of my ancestors was Christopher Columbus Boles, whom we knew as “Granddad”. We were in a bank one day, and Dad commented that he knew the manager, and had gotten to know him better in an odd way.

The manager had come up to Dad one day and said, “Say, I met your grandfather last week.” My Dad acknowledged it, a bit puzzled by its significance, and went on to other topics, but the man would not be deterred. “No, I mean I really found out what he was like.” 

The manager went on to recount how one of his tellers had come to him saying: “There’s an old man here who says he owes us money. He says he couldn’t pay some of his bills from the depression, but he wants to pay them back now.” The manager told the teller that those debts had been written off many years ago, and instructed him to thank the man and to tell him that he didn’t owe the money any more. 

The teller retorted, “I already told him all that, but he insists that he pay us back… with interest.” 

The manager went down and met Granddad, and I believe he took the money from him. As he recounted the story to my Dad, and as my Dad recounted it to me, the desire grew in me to be a man like C.C. Boles – a man who is honest in all dealings with others, and who values honor and a good name more than wealth or personal gain. 

What a great legacy to leave to your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren… For C.C. Boles, it was worth a lot more than the money he paid back to the bank. 
(c) 2011 Ted Kennedy III
Ted Kennedy is a member of the Servants of the Word, an ecumenical brotherhood of men living single for the Lord. He is steward and trainer for the Servants of the Word international formation house in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Ted is a vice president at Service Brands International, a franchising company headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

.Click on links below to read separate stories

Intro Things My Dad Taught Me About Life
Story 1 Trust Your Strengths and Know Your Limits
Story 2 One Dad and One Father
Story 3 The Debtor Who Wouldn't Go Away
Story 4 Waiting to Honor

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