In The Atlantic Community
The Atlantic community suffered a great loss last week. On May 23, Lloyd Gerber went to be with the Lord.
I doubt there’s a person in the Atlantic community who doesn’t remember Lloyd. Most people in the Atlantic community will him as a hard-working farmer. Lloyd was never idle. I only have sketchy memories of his farming days, but I know he had cows and at least one goat. The goat used to keep their ditches free of weeds.
I’ve known Lloyd all my life. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Lloyd is his smile. He had the broadest smile I’ve ever seen, and he was quick to laugh.
My memories of Lloyd begin at Gerber’s H & T. He ran a hardware store out of a building on his property. He sold everything from rope to rubber boots to Butterfinger candy bars. My dad stopped by the store regularly. Now, you didn’t hustle in and out of Gerber’s H & T. You’d stay and chat for a while, sometimes a long while, with Lloyd. Dad often took and my sister, Amy, and me with him. I’d always try to stay quiet while they talked. I knew if I could just wait long enough, Dad might just buy us Butterfinger bars before we left. It usually worked.
Lloyd was a strong Christian who raised his family in Christ. My sister, Amy, married Lloyd and Phyllis’ youngest son, Matthew. Because of this, I got to see Lloyd at family get-togethers over the past 15 years. He was always good to Amy, and treated her as a daughter.
Lloyd loved telling stories. He always had a punchline and finished with a hearty laugh. You couldn’t help smiling when Lloyd was around.
Lloyd also loved music. I usually asked him to get out his guitar after family dinners. He could play his guitar while singing, and also play his guitar while playing harmonica. He was so talented. He loved singing Johnny Cash songs and bluegrass.
Phyllis and Lloyd have a huge trampoline in the upstairs of one of their many buildings, and they were very generous with my kids. They’d let us drop by any time and let them jump to their hearts’ content. One time, Lloyd stopped chopping wood and climbed the staircase just to give me a hug while my kids bounced on the trampoline. This might not sound important, but for Lloyd to stop working just to give me a hug was a big deal.
And he gave big, loving hugs. You never felt like it was a polite, insincere hug. He’d give you a big squeeze, pull back, and flash his huge smile. He always made me feel appreciated.
But my all-time favorite memories of Lloyd were his hayrides. I love hayrides, because they’re like taking a trip back in time. He and Phyllis hosted a harvest party every fall, and always included a hayride. We’d ride around Oswalds’ fields and then take the back roads of Atlantic to his house.
I hope you will join me in praying for the Gerbers.
Have a wonderful week. Blessings!