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EDITOR’S NOTE: Upon the recent passing of Bernice Binns – see obituary here – her widower Eddie Binns found this letter they had received in recent months.
Dear Eddie & Bernice,
I sort of randomly came across a Las Cruces newspaper article about your many contributions to the community and citizens of Las Cruces. It made me think about the many people who have influenced my life and made an impact on the person I am.
My name is Von Taylor and I moved to 1250 W. Ethel Ave. in Las Cruces about 1954. I’m guessing you started building your home on Ethel about 1957 or 1958. I remember watching with excitement of the home being built across the street from us. In particular, a memory that stands out of a woman on top of the roof and she was pushing out some rolled tar paper. I was surprised to see a lady on a roof working so hard when my own mother was afraid of the heights of a step ladder. I have not seen again any ladies putting on tar paper since this one experience. I was impressed with the energy and enthusiasm Bernice displayed that day.
It was not long that my mother and I got to know Bernice. Bernice discovered I would be losing a tooth soon and she invited me to show it to her when the tooth finally came out. On the big day, my mother marched me over to your residence and I displayed the tooth that had popped out. Bernice was so excited and disappeared around a corner in the home and returned with a nickel in her hand. She told me to keep the tooth and the nickel. The best gift was her warmth and caring for her neighbor. It made me feel so special that someone thought I had something of worth. I remember walking away thinking this person made me feel so good about myself. Somehow it lodged in my memory banks and came flooding back when I reviewed the article. It sounds like you have continued the family tradition of making people feel valued and special, which in the building business is the greatest construction you can do.
I would like you to know the little pebble you cast that day has had a rippling effect through the years. I was in the education business and served as a high school principal in Waldport, Oregon, for 21 years. The ripple effect was that I made an effort to help each student know they were loved and valued. I have had so many wonderful experiences with young people because of your example and many examples like it. I loved reading what you have done in my most favored community to try to make the lives of those citizens a little better and brighter. I pray that you will have many more years of going strong in Las Cruces and the surrounding area. It was not the tooth or the nickel that made me feel so good; it was the smile, warmth and genuine caring I felt that morning. Thank you for your love of serving. It has been passed along to many, many hearts.
“Every act of kindness is a little love we leave behind us.”
Von & Karen Taylor