Magical Moment: Ron’s most favorite gift ever

When McAfee & Taft lawyer Ron Shinn was 9, he received his most favorite gift ever. In this Holiday Memories video, he shares how the Hollywood Squares, the 1983 Sears Wish Book, and an impassioned letter to Santa all had a part in making his wish come true.

So the year was 1983. I was a young man and one of my activities at the end of every day was to watch The New Hollywood Squares. My favorite guest on the Hollywood Squares was actually a duo. It was a ventriloquist named Willie Tyler and his puppet Lester. And I knew when they were on that it was going to be comedy magic.

So imagine my surprise a few months later when the Sears Wish Book came and I was looking through it. That was a tradition I did every year to see what I wanted, and I would tab pages and mark what I wanted. And one of the things that was in the Wish Book was a Lester ventriloquist dummy.

So I immediately sat down and wrote a letter to Santa and told him that I wanted Lester for Christmas that year. And I had in my mind just these images of me putting on performances in theaters and school. I knew that I was going to have a whole bunch of new friends because I was going to be America’s newest and hottest ventriloquist, and Lester and I were going to take the country by storm.

And so I was very excited about that. I told my mom, and I also put in the letter to Santa, that that was the only gift I wanted for Christmas that year. And if I didn’t get Lester, I didn’t want anything.

On Christmas morning, I woke up and obviously ran to the tree. And I looked around and scouted out the presents. And in the corner there was a large box wrapped in paper. I ripped off the wrapping paper. And of course there was Lester. I was very excited. It was a magical moment  — probably the most favorite gift I’ve ever received was this ventriloquist dummy.

So I want to wish everyone at McAfee & Taft and the whole McAfee & Taft family a very happy and safe holidays.”

Happy Holidays!

Theme graphic for McAfee & Taft Holiday Memories video series