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Have You "Pulled a Riekle" Lately
By Jill H. Lawrence

Excerpted from "A Christmas Filled With Miracles: Inspiring Stories for the Magic of the Season," by Mary Ellen Angel Scribe and Published by Conari Press. 

Last minute Christmas errands were on Howard's mind. One of the most pressing on December 23, 1996, was the $100 gift certificate from Sears that awaited presentation.

Howard turned to his friend Barbara and asked her if she'd like to go to Cleveland-Hopkins Airport with him to "pull a Riekle." Although Barbara had never heard of such a thing, she knew Howard to be a person of good character and surprises and so she readily agreed.

As the two drove, Howard explained what they were about to do. He told Barbara that he used to have a friend named Hal Riekle. He was a great guy, according to Howard, who had established a Christmas tradition. He would find several "someones" who could "use some upliftment" at Christmas time and anonymously gift them with money or a gift certificate. Tragically, Hal Riekle was killed in the Gulf War. As a living memorial to him, Howard continues his friend's tradition each year by going to different areas in NE Ohio and finding a number of "someones" on whom to bestow Hal Riekle's blessing.

This year, he asked Barbara for help. Howard said he wanted to go to the airport because he had noticed that porters weren't being well-tipped of late and he wanted Barbara to go find a porter who "could use some upliftment." Barbara was to pick the porter who would receive one of this year's "Riekles." She was instructed to get the person's name so Howard could write it on the gift certificate.

Barbara was delighted to go on this merry mission and so she left the car and surveyed the porters curbside, but none attracted her attention. She decided to go inside. It didn't take her long to spot "him." 

She saw a youngish, heavy set African-American man "with laughing eyes and a sweet soul" being used as if he were a piece of furniture. A thoughtless woman had propped up a box on the man -instead of choosing a counter top or chair -and was writing on the box as she pressed it against the porter. Barbara noted that the man took it all with good humor. Despite dismissive and what some might call obnoxious treatment by the woman, the porter warmly wished the woman a Merry Christmas as she peevishly departed for the gate.

Barbara had found her man, but she needed his name. She was hoping that once the box was removed, the man's name would be revealed on a badge or name tag. But no such luck. His name remained a mystery. So Barbara quickly concocted a ruse.

Barbara approached the smiling porter asking if his name was Joe. He said no, his name was Bill and he really didn't know a porter named Joe. What airline did Joe work for, Bill inquired. Barbara quickly rattled off the name of an airline she knew to be at the opposite end of the airport saying that Joe was holding a bag for a friend of hers and she needed to retrieve it. "Oh," Bill quickly explained. "That airline is all the way on the other side and Joe is undoubtedly there with the bag."

Barbara wished Bill a Merry Christmas and as she began to turn away, he asked for her name. In this way he was able to respond in kind with a warm, "Merry Christmas, Barbara." as they parted company.

Barbara's heart soared with the thrill of finding such a wonderful man and could hardly wait to get to the car to tell Howard who the recipient would be. And although Howard had hoped for both a first and last name to put on the gift certificate, he took out his pen and wrote Bill where the recipient's name was meant to go.

Next it was Howard's turn to bound out of the car on a mission. Barbara had described Bill to him and told Howard approximately where to look for Bill inside the airport. Howard spotted him easily.

Howard strode up to the porter and inquired, "Is your name Bill?" The porter smiled back at Howard and said well, yes it was. Howard then proceeded to tell the porter that he worked for a man named Hal Riekle and that Hal had been at the airport about six weeks ago loaded down with many bags. Howard continued the tale by saying that Hal had felt badly because he had not had money with him at the time for a tip. Howard announced that he had been sent by his employer to give Bill this gift certificate signed by Hal Riekle to make up for the non-existent tip and to thank him for being so kind and helpful.

Bill's eyes lit up even brighter than normal and he was obviously stunned and thrilled. "Oh my goodness," the porter said, "I don't remember the man, but I remember the bags!"

The men parted with warm wishes and Howard disappeared in the crowd.

A week later, Barbara is still glowing from the experience. "It's just people helping people - without taking any credit. I wasn't even the person who paid for the gift certificate, and I still feel great about it!

Imagine the positive impact this "Riekle" had not only on Bill, Howard and Barbara, but on all the other porters Bill told his story to. It's not too great a stretch to imagine many porters being inspired to hand out extra smiles and good wishes to travelers, -travelers who might have also been inspired to pass the good cheer along. It doesn't take much to make a positive impact on our world - spreading good cheer in an ever-expanding ripple effect will do the trick nicely.

Imagine the difference in our world if each one of us "pulled a Riekle" just once during the year. Afterall any of us can "pull a Riekle" at any time, during any season.

Imagine the power of your Riekle, and my Riekle and your next door neighbor's Riekle to literally transform the world. As the optimistic little tyke in the movie Angels in the Outfield repeatedly said with hope in his eyes, "It could happen."

Come to think of it, Hal Riekle will undoubtedly get an angelic kick out of  it as well! It could happen.

© Copyright Jill Lawrence.  All Rights Reserved.  

Jill H. Lawrence is a national award-winning journalist who has spent a lifetime exploring personal growth, metaphysics, spirituality - everything from Angels to Zen! Today she brings that breadth and depth of experience to enrich her daily, live call-in Wisdom Radio show, Jill & Friends that airs from 5-7 pm Eastern time Monday thru Friday and Saturday from 7 - 9 pm Eastern. Listen on the web by visiting Wisdom Radio! www.wisdommedia.com


Meet Mary Ellen Angel Scribe:

Author of:


Mary Ellen IS the angel of the internet. Over the past 5 years, Mary Ellen has become synonymous with her nome de internet: Angel Scribe. Over 50,000 readers of her love-infused, on-line AngelScribe Newsletter testify to her self-less, gleeful sharing of uplifting, heartening, mystical, loving and angel-laden true life stories and inspirations that she freely shares with others. She charges no subscription fee, but will lovingly accept Love Offerings made by readers who are moved and inspired by her incredible work.

There are many who think Mary Ellen actually IS an angel! In fact, her celestial work has come to the attention of a number of well known personalities. For example, her AngelScribe Newsletter was noted on The Artist Formerly Known as Prince's charity website as well as on New Line Cinemas' charity website the past three years.

She is the author of "Expect Miracles" and "A Christmas Filled with Miracles." and if ever there was a message that she radiates it is exactly ...to Expect Miracles. MaryEllen is a force of love.

Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe" has given the world nuggets of light through her AngelScribe newsletter. She is able to share inspirational stories in an inclusive way that encourages the reader to join right in. Mary Ellen is an angel of the internet and soon to be an angel in the bookstore with her newly released book EXPECT MIRACLES.


Visit Mary Ellen at:



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