Monday, September 15, 2014

My second Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol experience

September 15, 2014
Day 138

Picture it.  Sicily, 1920. 

Eh, scrap that actually.  Picture this instead: Minnesota, May 2008.  A Prize Patrol Deputy named Sean Patrick Brennan is traveling across the great state of Minnesota, surprising people with big checks from the one and only Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol.

Along with my co-Deputy, Jack Quinn, our first prize surprise was in Moose Lake, Minnesota, which I told you about earlier in this blog.  That was another cool story, and I have a few more to come after this one too!

Moose Lake was near Duluth, in the eastern part of the state, but our next stop took us into Brainerd, Minnesota, smack-dab in the middle of the state.  Out there, life is quieter and folks live a bit further apart from each other, not because of any animosities or anything, but just because they have more room to spread out and stretch their legs.

It was beautiful, really.  Lots of long, open roads with plenty of open land on either side, and here and there the occasional shipping train would go by, carrying what seemed like a never-ending amount of train cars.  We even stopped by a cattle sale in the area, and save for maybe one or two executives, I'm fairly certain we were the only men there not dressed in jeans and a cowboy hat.

You may recall from my first story that we couldn't find our winner (despite reaching his home, asking the neighbors to call around, and driving to his job, too).  The award winner for this second prize though?  Well, he wasn't home either!  (And this time, we had the local PBS affiliate reporter with us too, a nice man who operated both the PBS camera and the microphone.)  We soon found out from our winner's wife that he was at a nearby hospital, having his hearing aid adjusted. 

85 years young and in a wheelchair, Robert wasn't too hard to catch up to at the hospital, but man, you should have seen us running that day!  How often do you get to run through a hospital with flowers, balloons, and a big check, with a cameraman following you as you go?! 

Spectators and staff alike were in awe as I kept yelling, "This is real!" with a big smile, and "This is not a commercial!"

We found Mr. Hall in his doctor's office that morning, and he sure was glad to see us!  The big check we presented him wasn't made out for millions of dollars, but he really appreciated it anyway!  "I can sure use it!  Any little extra money is very helpful!" he told us.

Once the opportunity presented itself, we asked him next, "So what will you do with the money?"  He thought for a long moment, and then looked up at us and said, "Well, I'm gonna give 10% to my church, put half in the bank, and then I'm gonna buy myself a new gun!"

Well rest assured, Mr. Hall had earned the right to do whatever the heck he wanted with this money!  At 85 years old, he was a proud veteran of World War II, serving with the United States Navy. 

After a brief Google search I just made on Mr. Hall, I was sad to find this obituary.  May he rest in peace!  God bless you, Mr. Hall, and thank you for your service to our great country.  I'm truly happy I was part of something this special for you so late in your life!

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