By Alan Shope, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -
History was made in Overland Park as a 65-year-old debt left by former President Harry Truman was finally paid.
Wednesday, the man who was a young boy jilted by Truman got his payback.
"Yes, I knew Harry. We called him Mr. President," George Lund said.
For years, 80-year-old Lund walked by 219 North Delaware to deliver the Independence Examiner to the first family.
"Mrs. Truman - her name is Bess, but I never called her that - always wanted it right there so she could pick it up without going anywhere. If it was on the sidewalk or anywhere else, she would complain," Lund, the retired paperboy, said.
It was such a pivotal time in the then 15-year-old's life. He recently drew a picture of the historic home, bringing back one interesting memory.
"I usually collected on Saturdays from the people that were taking the newspaper and nobody was ever home or came to the door. Mrs. Truman really didn't like to come to the door unless I didn't put the paper on the porch, so I really didn't get to see her and I didn't get to collect, but I was in hopes that he (Harry Truman) would be there one day and I could collect," Lund said.
The president never paid what amounted to a $7.50 bill. It's something Lund never thought much of, unless he needed a laugh.
"Gee, he still owes me some money," Lund said with a laugh.
Not anymore. At a "We're Just Wild About Harry" event at Tallgrass Creek retirement community where Lund now lives, the Truman Library and Museum paid off that debt, with interest, in the form of 56 $1 bills presented by a Truman impersonator, proving once and for all the buck stops here.
But, Lund doesn't plan to hang onto this long-lost cash.
"I am going to turn it over to the Quilts of Valor who are ladies who sew quilts for veterans and, since President Truman was very friendly with the veterans and thought a lot of them, I think he would be proud to know this is where the money is going to go," he said.
It's a quilt for a veteran, from a veteran, paid for by a president.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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