President of the Zuzu Society Carries 'Petals from his Daughter': His Story of
How it Happened...
was honored to have been asked to act as the president of the Zuzu Society. A
big thank-you is extended to Ted Warner from St. Joseph, Missouri, for launching
the society and serving as its first president.
wayward journey into the Zuzu Society started in 1979 when during
a very tough first year of law school saw It's a Wonderful Life
on television. It immediately became my favorite film.
I made it through law school and became a lawyer for all the regular Berts and
Ernies of the world who got injured and needed legal help.
in 1990, I got a chance to talk about It's a Wonderful Life to drive home
a point in a closing argument of a wrongful death civil damages suit.
my daughter Mandy was in first grade, she gave me a coupon she made
at school that was "good for one prayer". I couldn't help
thinking of it as my own special "Zuzu's petals," and
I keep it in my wallet to this day. I hope it will be there if I
ever really need that one special prayer.
Christmas Day 1992, my wife and I were amazed to learn in a newspaper article
that Zuzu also at that time lived in the Kansas City area. We thought about contacting
her but never got around to doing it until the spring of 1995. Then, oddly enough,
we met at a restaurant/bar called Martini's.
was as nice and charming as we had hoped, and we were relieved to find out from
a friend of hers that she didn't mind at all being called Zuzu. This was good,
because it seemed so much easier to say than Karolyn Grimes.
have since become good friends, and my family has embarked on the
mission of putting together the biggest collection of It's a
Wonderful Life memorabilia in Kansas City.
I was asked to serve on the steering committee for the 1995 Christmas Gala fundraiser
for the Boy Scouts, which honored Zuzu and showed It's a Wonderful Life
in an elegant theater on the big screen.
is my great pleasure to serve as the president of the Zuzu Society. I encourange
any readers to write in and share your thoughts and ideas.
feel we owe a great deal of thanks to Karolyn for making all of her unique, special
gifts available to us. These are one-of-a-kind collectibles. She is like Santa
Claus for the millions who cherish the wonderful message of It's a Wonderful
the desk of Karolyn:
Mencl and his lovely wife Ruth have become like family to me. They have joined
me in travels to Denison, Iowa for the Donna Reed Festival and to celebrations
in India, Pennsylvania, Jimmy Stewart's hometown. John practices the message that
each man's life touches another. He helps people in many ways. He is firm in his
beliefs and he spreads the magic from the film. He even has a collection on display
in his office and he loves for folks to ask him about the film. He has a Christmas
tree that he and Ruth decorate every year with just It's a Wonderful Life
items, some they have collected and some they have made. John is very creative
and he even built a newel post that comes apart like the one in the film.