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BiTHE  QUARTER  MAN

Bill Guerrette, my father, was a handy man with many talents. He loved woodworking and spent many hours in his cellar making us anything that we wanted. He loved his cellar and spent many happy hours there.

We all had home made cup rack shelves, nip shelves or spoon racks. He made tables to order or screen doors. What ever your pleasure was he made it for you.

Dad retired from his job of 40 years and took up a part time job at Pocahontas Spring Water Company in Lynnfield, MA.

 He worked for Donnie LeColst, the owner, who also was Dadís son-in-law at one time, as Donnie had been my husband for 8 years.

Dad worked 3 days a week for Don for 14 years. His job was to answer the phone and collect quarters from the people who came to fill their gallon bottles with Donís natural spring water.

The cost to fill your bottle was $.25. Dad collected many quarters for Don. When the quarters with the states on them came out, Dad started to collect them. 

Every time you saw Dad he wanted you to empty out your pockets so he could see if you had any quarters that he needed for his collection.

During the day at work Dad would go through all the quarters that had been collected on the days he was not at work. His collection grew nicely. He was so happy with his quarters.

After 14 years of working for Don at Pocahontas Spring Water Dad got sick and had to leave. It broke his heart to leave a job that he loved. 

He met many people over the years and made many friends. Dad also did small repairs for Don when it was slow.

Dad had surgery in Boston and was transferred to a rehab center on Dec 8, 2002. The next day I went to visit Dad and Don was there visiting him too. He told us of a dream that he had the night before.

He told us that there was a lot of people and he was talking to Don and was telling him about the most beautiful, beautiful, beautiful lights he had ever seen. 

When Dad said the word beautiful he said it three times with his eyes closed and squinted and his head tilted upward with a smile on his face.

He then asked us if we had ever had a dream like that before. The conversation changed right away and the dream was forgotten and we never talked about it again during that visit.

Dadís health and strength deteriorated and he passed away on Dec. 22, 2002. The night he passed we all went to my motherís house.

Don leaned on the stove and the stove went on. My brother moved the coffee maker and it started making coffee. The light over the kitchen table started flickering.

We remembered Dadís dream and now knew what it meant. Signs started coming from Dad immediately. I knew he was with us and that he had crossed over already and was telling us he was OK.

Dad had always teased Don about waiting until Christmas Eve to do his shopping. For years Dad reminded Don daily how many shopping days were left till Christmas.

Dad had called Don on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday just before Christmas and reminded him of the count down. 

We saw him Saturday for the last time.  I commented that he looked so bad that we would be burying him on his birthday Dec. 26.

I made a comment the night he died at my motherís how Don would not get any more calls from Dad. But then I said wait, yes, yes he will. 

I had a very strong feeling that Dad would contact Don one more time some how.  I just knew it would happen.

Christmas Eve I got a call from Don.  He had just listened to his messages on his answering machine and my father had left him a message at 11:12 a m on Sunday. Dad passed away just before 7 P.M on Sunday.

I believe that Dad started that phone call at 11:11 and it went through at 11:12. I believe the angels were with Dad at the time he made that phone call to Don.

On Christmas morning I asked Dad to give me a sign that he had crossed over and was OK. Early afternoon on Christmas Day my brother Bill walked across the kitchen floor at my momís house. 

I commented on what nice shoes he had. I never look at my brotherís shoes but something made me look at them this time. He said got them at LL Bean. I knew that was Dadís favorite store too.

Bill then went down dadís cellar to see what we had for paper cups and plates for the funeral. When Bill came upstairs he immediately took off one of his shoes.

Bill said "I have something in my shoe. Itís a quarter. I must have a hole in my pocket and it slid down my leg and into my shoe." I asked Bill what kind of quarter it was. Bill said "Rhode Island"

I said "Bill, Dad was down cellar with you and he put that quarter in your shoe. Do you have a hole in your pocket.?" Bill said, "NO" and his eyes opened real wide. He could not believe what had just transpired. Bill was not open to the spirit world yet and was quite taken back by this.

At the end of Christmas night Bill went to take the quarter out of his pocket to show his wife Janice and tell her the quarter story but the quarter was gone. We searched the entire house and never found it and Bill never left the house. I believe it left the same way it came.

The day of the funeral I went into the bathroom to freshen up before leaving for the cemetery. Once I closed the bathroom door the water in the toilet ran and stopped, ran and stopped, and it kept doing this for the entire time I was in there.

They had had a problem with it running but this was run and stop, run and stop. When I came out of the bathroom my son asked me what I had done in there to make all that noise. I know it was my father letting us know he was with us.

At the graveside as we were all gathered around I heard a loud noise and looked over to see all the snow fall off the hood of my fatherís car. His car was the only one that had snow falling off of it. It made such a racket that I had to look over to see what the noise was.  None of the other cars had this happen.

Christmas night we had a snowstorm. I hurriedly passed out my gifts and put all my gifts into a cat carrier that my son had given me. I did not get around to unpacking this carrier for several days. My heart just was not able to put my gifts away.

After the quarter in my brotherís shoe, I joking said "OK Dad, you can give Bill all the quarters you want but I want hundred dollar bills." 

Well to my surprise when I finally unpacked my gifts from the cat carrier, when my mom had passed me a box of chocolates that she had for me for Christmas there was an envelope too that I did not see. 

When I opened the envelope there was a $100 bill as a Christmas gift from Mom and Dad.  

On Dec 31, 2002 my brother and I were at the table with my mom and my brother had stripped my momís bed and asked me to go down cellar and put the sheets in the dryer.

 After going up and down the cellar stairs several times doing laundry I noticed on my last trip up that my sneaker was untied. I tie them very tight and they were new. Here again I knew that Dad was in the cellar and that he untied my shoe to let me know he was there.

A few days after that Don was rolling a roll of quarters at work and as soon as he put in the past quarter the entire roll split open and all the quarters went every where. 

Don laughed and new Dad had done that as a joke. Dad loved to laugh and he laughed at everything. Don know Dad was laughing when the quarters went every where. He could almost hear him.

A year has passed now since Dad has been gone.  Don just found an envelope with $5.00 worth of state quarters in it. Dad had been saving them for Don. 

We looked over all the quarters and found that three of the twenty quarters were released after Dadís death.

One came out on my sonís birthday, January 2.  The other two came out on Dadís motherís birthday, March 17.  He is still saving them for us.  Thanks Dad.

Linda LeColst

Danvers, MA.

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Dad collecting quarters and filling water bottles at Pocahontas Spring Water. 

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