Courier makes a job of delivering smiles


October 01, 2001|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

IN PLACES SUCH as Carroll County Cancer Center and Summerville Senior Living in Westminster, joy arrives when the FedEx man delivers packages.

Many people don't know his name, but they know they can count on a song when Brad Geier walks in to drop off Federal Express deliveries. If it's sunny, he may sing John Denver's "Sunshine on My Shoulder." After the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, he brought people to tears with "God Bless America."

"The first time I watched him come in and sing, I thought, `Oh, my gosh. This guy is really weird,'" said Westminster resident Lisa Sotack. "Then I admired him for having the courage and self-confidence to sing for other people like that."

A FedEx courier for the past 17 years, Geier lives in Taylorsville with his wife, Rhonda, and their children, Kienan, 7, and Christa, 5.

He sings with the Winfield Bible Church Choir and volunteers for the Grant-A-Wish Foundation.

"These days it is not as easy to give people a hug when they need comfort," Geier said. "My music is my hug to them."

Geier greets as many people as possible at church. He puts the words to the hymns into a PowerPoint presentation so more people will sing.

He also writes witty sayings for the church marquee. "We're not Baskin-Robbins, but we have great Sundays," one sign read. Another said, "McDonald's serves over 9 billion, we serve only One."

His diehard desire to make people smile has put him in snowman costumes at holiday parties, and he did a stint in mouse garb as Chuck E. Cheese in Glen Burnie - "anything to make people happy," he said.

Over the years, more and more people have appreciated his singing deliveries. One time when he walked into the cancer center, an elderly resident said, "There's my little singing canary."

"I wish he could come more often," said Debbie Nixon, an administrative assistant at Summerville. "This is a community where the average age is 82. When he comes in, the ladies love it. He is so personable and full of life. The world needs more people like him."

More voices needed

The Old Line Statesmen Barbershop Chorus is looking for more voices to bolster its a cappella chorus during the holidays.

"We're looking for men who enjoy singing, who might want a wider audience or the a cappella experience," said Jim Botelle, who has been with the group since 1987.

"We have about 32 members on the roster right now, and we'd love to have 60," Botelle said. "There is more to sing during the holiday when you have more voices - plus you can hide a multitude of problems in a larger group."

If singing during the holidays sparks a long-term interest in joining the group, great, Botelle said.

"But there is no expectation to join permanently if someone just wants to join us for concerts at the mall, the VFW hall and around the community during the holidays," he said.

Rehearsals are at 7 p.m. Mondays in Krug Chapel and Auditorium at Carroll Lutheran Village. Music is free.

Information: 410-857-7863 or 410-526-6842.

Living treasures honored

Carroll County NAACP branch President Phyllis Black of Westminster honors her children, Monica, Irvin Jr., and Jason as her living treasures.

"They are the most important gift that God has given me," she said. "Each day, they bring joy, peace, and challenges to my life that have helped me grow. Negatives and positives enhance my life with them."

Living Treasures in Carroll County are featured at the end of this column each week.

Send in a few lines honoring a person who has made a difference in your life.

Mail contributions to: Lisa Breslin, 35 Ridge Road, Westminster 21157.

Lisa Breslin's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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