Bill Pollard: Today’s Nicest Man in the World

Sometimes, in the heat of sports and politics and greed and books and all, I tend to forget that this world is composed of good, decent, caring people.

Tonight, I met a dandy.

The family and I were driving through the town of Richmond Hill, Georgia—a town of a Publix, a bunch of hotels, a few restaurants and, as far as I could tell, little else. It’s a small, nondescript place; some beautiful houses and lakes, but otherwise a dot on the map alongside Interstate 95.

Anyhow, it was after dinner, and alongside a Chinese restaurant we saw a red glowing sign that read THE ICE CREAM STOP. As the wife, and both kids, know, I’m a sucker for ice cream. And, specifically, for out-of-the-way, independently owned ice cream shops. Hence, I pulled the car into the lot and my son and daughter dashed to the door. Regrettably, as soon as they reached for the handle, the lights went off. It was 8 o’clock on the nose—closing time. “Ooooohhhhh man,” I said to the tykes. “That is just horrible timing.”

Then—flash. The lights came on. A man inside waved for us to enter. This was our introduction to Bill Pollard, owner of The Ice Cream Stop. Bill immediately informed us that he never—never, ever, ever—closes if he sees kids waiting outside. He promptly took our orders—the son had Superman ice cream in a cup, the daughter had some sort of chocolate, I had a Banana Foster shake (and it was friggin’ fantastic!). As he scooped, Bill talked a bit about his life. A native Californian, he and his wife Gayle moved to Georgia three years ago to be near her mother. They opened the store shortly thereafter, and love seeing happy kids paired with large mounds of frozen goodness. Bill warmly asked my kids if they liked the ice cream, and insisted his was the best around. I have no doubt he was right.

I was later reminded of something that happened a few weeks ago to me, at a library in Southern California. The building closed at 5 pm, and at around 4:58 I was leaving—when I turned right (immediately before the exit) to use the bathroom. “I’m just gonna use that real quick,” I said to the librarian—who promptly insisted I leave. “No bathroom,” she said. “We’re closed.” I was flabbergasted, and irked, and annoyed (and really, really, really had to pee.). There are people like that woman, who see life as a job, and rules and rules.

And then there are people like Bill Pollard.

Who just wants you to love his ice cream.

PS: The Ice Cream Stop is located at 13300 Ga Hwy 144 in Richmond Hill. The ice cream was friggin’ awesome.

4 thoughts on “Bill Pollard: Today’s Nicest Man in the World”

  1. Very nice story, thanks for sharing. Really liked the comparison you made. It so on target when it comes to good vs bad. Okay, bad might be harsh, but thats what it is. Hope Mr. Pollard has a very successful business.

  2. Mr. Bill, as we’ve come to know him, truly is a kind hearted man with smiles that never end. His wife Ms. Gale is just as sweet and reminds us of being home. We are a military family so having the feeling of being welcomed is hard to come by, however the folks at the ice cream stop are always there to listen, spread joy, and make sure that we are able to make educated choice on our ice cream (even when your child wants to try every flavor). Thank you so much for recognizing two people and their store who constantly support Richmond Hill and our families military and civilian. Mr. Bill’s store is truly the best and it is the best because of the people in it… plus their ice cream is really good too!

  3. Good people are good finds.
    I was in Texas for business. Drove there and because I had a flat I got to the Alamo later than I intended. It was 15 minutes to closing but they wouldn’t let me in.
    Them – “You won’t have time to see it.”
    Me – “I just want to say I was in the Alamo.”
    Them – “Come back tomorrow.”
    Me – “I have to be in Houston tomorrow. Can’t I just go in real quick?”
    Them – “Nope you won’t have time to see it.”
    I seriously doubt I will ever go back to Texas, not because of this, and the people in Texas are very friendly. But I’ve seen it, except the Alamo.

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