If your momma or your grandmother grew up in western York County from just after World War II until the early 1990s, chances are good a smiling combat veteran with steady watchmaker's hands made those girls cry for a minute.
And then smile forever.
Monroe Wills - armed with ethyl chloride, cork, needle and a gentle demeanor - would hold a teenage girl's hand and pierce her ears.
"Must have been thousands of girls, my daddy pierced their ears," said Ann Wills Wilson, one of Wills' daughters.
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"I have heard it all my life," said Wills' other daughter, Fran Wills McDuffie. " 'Your daddy pierced my ears.' He was about the only one who did it in those days."
"Mr. Monroe" of Wills Jewelry Store in York died Tuesday after succumbing to Alzheimer's disease. He was 86.
Eighteen years after Wills retired from the iconic downtown shop that bore his name, his legacy lives on in thousands of wedding bands and engagement rings - passed down through generations.
Jewelry bought in a simpler time when Monroe Wills was at times the sole jeweler in York - first inside the old Western Auto building, then for decades at small shops on Congress Street filled with tiny tools and a jeweler's magnifying visor.
"I bought the band for my Lester from Monroe Wills," said Jean Kimble of York. "And he bought mine, there, too."
Of course the two Wills' sons-in-law - Gary Wilson and Randy McDuffie - bought wedding bands from the man who engraved them himself.
And it wasn't just people from York.
Untold numbers of couples came to York from across the state line years ago because of easier marriage regulations - making the York County seat the second-busiest spot to get married in all of South Carolina.
Many of them bought wedding bands in Wills' shop in a rush before getting hitched by the probate judge around the corner on Madison Street.
"Who knows how many couples out there now - there might be thousands - who both have Monroe Wills' rings on?" asked daughter Fran McDuffie. "I meet people all the time."
Wills didn't just sell jewelry.
This is a guy who lied about his age to enlist in World War II and was gone almost four years.
He then went to watchmakers school on the G.I. Bill. While there, he met and married a beauty of a telephone operator named Martha. The two stayed married almost 60 years, until Martha died a few years ago.
After school, Wills came home and started a tiny business. He was a skilled craftsman who could fix a watch that might cost a week's wages.
Wills then started selling watches and jewelry, and setting stones and engraving, for the mill people of York who worked so hard for their money and expected value and customer service.
They got it, too, as Wills kept an index card file for each customer - accepting as little as 50 cents at a time for payments so that people could have a wedding band or a watch for a gift on a special day.
Sometimes he accepted no payments at all, just so people could have rings at weddings.
Wills would then borrow money from the bank to pay suppliers, because he would rather owe money himself than deprive the people of York of that little ring that would make a girl's eye light up the night.
Wills also embossed Bibles, thousands of them, while hunched over that work table at his shop. A name on a Bible meant ownership, a connection, so Wills would do it right, in a craft that is almost extinct.
"He was a man who loved to make people happy," said daughter Ann Wilson. "His life was about the happiness he helped give people."
Wills was such a decent man that one time a man from York smashed the front window of the store and stole a watch.
Wills knew the man and his family, and refused to press charges, although the whole town knew who stole the watch.
All Wills did was tell the man: "I wish you had told me you wanted that watch. I would have given it to you on credit and let you pay for it over time."
"Mr. Monroe" let that man keep that watch, too.