Randy Bengtson, of Globe, had a large collection of toy soldiers he acquired over two years of his childhood – 1962-63 – when he was 10 and 11 years old. With no children of his own, Bengtson wondered to whom he would someday leave the collection.
Then, Bengtson saw the photo of nine-year-old Gavin Adams on page one of the Nov. 28, 2018 edition of the Silver Belt. Adams was using sign language to communicate with one of Santa’s elves (played by Wil Bowen) during Santa’s Nov. 24 visit to the Historic Train Depot in Globe.
Bengtson knew then that he wanted Adams to have his classic collection.
Having grown up with vision issues and knowing how much joy the toy soldiers had given him, Bengtson wanted to find Adams to gift the childhood collection to him.
Bengtson visited the Silver Belt office with his request, and, with a little help from a staff member, Bengtson and Adams’ family made contact with each other.
On Monday, Dec. 24, Bengtson set up part of his collection of toy soldiers on the hood of his truck in the Silver Belt’s parking lot, while waiting for Adams and his family to arrive.
Bengtson had also made a special container for Adams, with the initials “G.A.” on the cover.
When Adams step-dad, Stacey Sutherland, asked Bengtson what had touched him about the Nov. 28 photo, Bengtson replied, “He is nine. I was 10 when I got them.”