Santa’s Helper Jim Vance—RIP my friend
“What a Wonderful Life” is one of my favorite holiday movies starring the great actor Jimmy Stewart. It played a role in assisting me in keeping hope alive for one the most admired DC TV anchors ever. The giving spirit is what Christmas is all about and life is the best gift ever.
When my wife Hattie and I gave our first ever Christmas toy party for needy children in 1968, we had no clue that we would be carrying on the tradition for 45 straight years without grants or loans. 2018 marks several milestones that we share, May 21st I celebrated my 80th birthday after my middle school Principal William B. Stinson predicted to my mother I would not live to get out of high school. May 21st 1971 my friend and homeboy Marvin Gaye released his classic “Whats Going On?” It is more revelant in 2018 than ever. November 30th marked our 50th wedding anniversary and December marks our 50th anniversary of our first ever Kids In Trouble toy party for needy children. You would not believe some of the folks who helped us through this 50 year journey, they became known as Santa’s Helpers!
I hope you remember DC Superior Court Judge Luke Moore and several of his colleagues that followed his lead, There were the Washington Redskins led by Roy Jefferson, Harold McLinton, Larry Brown and Ted Vactor. The Santa Helpers would include; radio and television personalities, movie stars, entertainers from the world of music and the real stars, everyday people from all walks of life. They had names like, Zack, Dog Turner, Black Danny, Bob Wayne, Norman, Philadelphia. Jake, Slippery Jackson, Cornell, Shep, Frog, Nook, and Herman Thomas. They were all entrepreneurs and businessmen on the streets and byways of DC. Their company stores and offices were open 24/7 from far NE to far NW. They never had sales or Black Fridays. Their Masters Degrees and Ph D’s were earned as a result of Common Sense–Street Sense–Book Sense (well read).