Have you read this week’s Featured Story? “One Saturday Morning,” by Rick Wages, is a very sweet story about a father’s love at a tender time in his son’s life. If you haven’t read it yet, you need to head over there right away. We’re sure it’ll touch your heart—especially as you all prepare to spend some quality time with the family over the holidays! Then come back here, since God Makes Lemonade recently had a chance to catch up with Rick. Spoiler alert: Rick is also known as Santa Rick during the winter months and he shared some Christmas cheer with us.
GML: Where do you live?
Rick: I live in Loganville, Georgia, a small suburb of Atlanta . I live with my wife of 38 years, Kim; our daughter, Karen (she’s finishing up her last year of college to become a teacher); and four Schnauzers: Rudy, Max, Lady and Bella. I have three other married children: Kam married to Jason, a pastor, and they have our three grandchildren (Kennedy, Sidney, Joel); Keith is married to Mattie (he is a children’s pastor and they are expecting their first child); and Kevin is married to Deanna, he is a teacher and she a hair stylist.
GML: What are you up to these days?
Rick: I have built over 200 homes, but in this economy, business is nil. I have been working with my brother selling home improvements, roofing, replacement windows and doors and gutters. I am a real Santa as well, so the months of November and December are booked with personal visits to homes, parties, family gatherings, day cares, elementary schools, churches and community events. I will have over 3,000 children and adults in my lap or on my knee before the season is over. Ho ho ho! I am a blessed old fat man and though not rich with money, have literally hundreds of friends.
GML: What inspired you to write your lemonade story?
Rick: I love to write, and have recently finished writing a Bible study with devotions that prompted me to look back at my life and see the times when God blessed me and times when He has made good out of the tough times I’ve put in His hands.
GML: What was it like to see your story printed in the book?
Rick: It was a blessing to have my first piece in printed form. Though, I have had many stories and devotions published on the Internet in order to encourage as many people as possible. I read the book and found it to be a wonderful encouragement. Several folks had some amazing stories.
GML: Do you have any updates on your lemonade story since it was published?
Rick: A few family members have expressed how bad they felt for me at the time—though they may not have expressed it when I was younger. I have also received letters from others who understand what I was going through, and it has helped them with their own children today.
GML: Alright Santa Rick, we know you’ve been busy this month. Will you share one of your cheeriest Santa memories with us?
Rick: I was sitting as Santa at a public photo event earlier this week and a little girl came up to me carrying a picture. When she got up to my seat, the girl asked me to stand up, face away from her, and bend over. I thought I might have something on my suit pants, so I did so and asked our Photographer Elf to look too. The little girl looked studiously at the picture she carried and then back at my backside with intensity. A few moments later, she said I could sit down again. I did, and she hopped up onto my knee. I asked what she was looking at and she showed me her picture, which portrayed Santa’s backside as he bent over in the process of spreading out gifts on a couch. Her mother had taken the picture and gave it to her as proof that there was indeed a Santa, and that I was he. She just wanted to be sure I was the “Real Santa” before she wasted any time telling me things she wanted for Christmas. I have never laughed so hard and so deep as I did that day. Ho ho ho!
Thanks for stopping by and getting to know Rick a bit better. Come back next week—we’re already working on another interview with the author of our next featured story. Or you can pick up a copy of God Makes Lemonade, where you’ll find more than eighty inspiring stories like this one. The book might be the perfect last-minute gift for someone in your life, too!