Wednesday, December 5, 2012

No one was more generous than Maybelline founder Tom Lyle Williams.

My father, ten year old Bill Williams was selling magazine subscriptions hoping to win a a new Schwinn two wheeler, but he was having trouble competing with the other boys at school... until he made his rounds at the Maybelline Company.  There he found a pot of gold, when uncle Noel, uncle Chet, uncle Ches, Rags Ragland and all the rest of the Maybelline employees bought up half his orders.  Bill had one more call to make and was excited as he patiently waited in his uncle Tom Lyles office hoping to sell a few more subscriptions before heading home.  An hour went by and he almost fell asleep on the leather sofa when the door finally swung open and there stood the majestic figure of  uncle Lyle, or Unk Ile as he liked to called him. 

Tom Lyle sat down at his over sized carved walnut desk and listened to the little speech Bill had prepared.  He thought for a minute than proceeded to give him a lecture about safety and riding a bike on the streets of Chicago.  Bill promised that if he won the bike he would always look both ways before crossing the street and would never pull out into traffic.  Once Tom Lyle was satisfied his nephew understood the dangers of owning a two wheeler, he took out his check book and wrote a check for the entire amount... Bill won the contest hands down and never forgot what his Unk Ile had done for him.

This is just a small example of the kind of man Tom Lyle was.  He always went beyond the call of duty for his family and everyone he knew for that matter and today though he is just a memory he will live in our hearts forever as a loving, generous angel.

You can read more about Tom Lyle, Noel James, Chet Hewes, Ches Haines, Rags Ragland and the Maybelline Company in The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It.  It makes a great Christmas gift and you can order a signed copy directly from me.

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