Pearl in the oyster |

Pearl in the oyster

Dear Editor:Oysters don’t look like much on the outside, but the pearl inside may be a priceless treasure. My name is Jim DeBerge. I have worked at the Pitkin County Jail with Billy Tomb for 20-plus years. Comparing his loss to an oyster is not fair, but I would like to tell you about the pearl I found in the midst of the disaster. On the day following the tragic fire, we received three-dozen or more calls from people in the community. Most were his friends, some did not know him personally, all wanted to help. About midmorning, I received a call from a delightfully charming young girl who spoke with the voice of an angel. This is what she said. “Hello, my name is Claire Whittingham. Would you please tell Billy Tomb that he can come and live at our house for Christmas.” She spoke so softly and so sweetly, I was in tears before she finished and was so choked up, I could hardly say thank you for calling.Claire, you made my day. Your call was one of my Christmas presents, and I treasure it. I did tell Billy that you called, and though he did not come to your home for Christmas, he is blessed to have a friend like you. Merry Christmas, Claire. I hope that I get to meet you sometime.Jim DeBergePitkin County deputy

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