His name is Mr. Tragen. He was born in the old country, but came to America and settled in to his modest business so long ago that it seemed the neighborhood was built around him.
He owns the toy store on the corner and makes his home in the 3 rooms above it on the 2nd floor. He stocks his store with only the finest of his handcrafted toys. Most people have forgotten his name and simply refer to him as the “Bear Maker”, because out of all the wonderful toys in his store, his bears are the most prized.
Though his face is most times somber, he cannot fool the children; his toys (especially his bears) are made with all the tender loving care he can give. His smile may be fleeting, but it is heartfelt. And at Christmas time it is exceptionally hard to keep the children (and even a few of the adults) from browsing thru the store aisles every day to see what is new. He greets them all with his earnest face and twinkling eyes.
His favorite time of year is coming; soon it will be Christmas. The lights can be seen burning long into the night through his basement workshop windows. There will be new toys for the toy store in the morning.
And so, if you scroll down, you’ll be able to see the “Bear Maker” at his bench working his Christmas magic on a new bear!