Jan 8 2008
06:53 am
By: WhitesCreek

Hello Readers, Well another year is almost gone and the Christmas season is all over. We probably won't hear another Christmas song until July at least. It does get earlier and earlier every year. It is a shame the Christmas Season can't last all year, the spirit and meaning of it anyway. Wasn't the story Pelea Meador wrote something!!
This week's Email bag brings a letter from Lloyd "Buddy" Morris, (Class of 1961). I see Lloyd occasionally at "Yonder Hollow" and it is always a pleasure to talk with him. Let me share this Christmas story with you that Lloyd sent...
Santa Fe Flyer - A Christmas Memory
"As a child, Christmas Eve 1950 was my most memorable Christmas. Wait a moment, you might say how can that be after all, isn't that an oxymoron? How can Christmas be on Christmas Eve? Isn't Christmas the celebration of the birth of the Savior and always on Christmas Day? In truth, yes, of course it is and it should always be focused on the birth of the Christ Child, and not Santa Claus. However, in 1950 for one seven year old boy, I'm ashamed to say, I think Santa was the key point of Christmas, and with that in mind we will continue this story.
"At our house, unless Christmas Day occurred on Saturday or Sunday, Santa always came on Christmas Eve. My father was a bus driver for the Tennessee Coach Company, and had to leave for work at five in the morning every day except on the weekend. Santa Claus somehow knew just how much it meant to my father to be home with us when we first saw our Christmas gifts, and decided that he would make an exception and deliver our Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve. Dad did explain to us that Santa Claus would only bring our gifts on Christmas Eve if we promised never to go outside and tell the other kids what we had received until the next morning. I guess Santa thought the other kids might not understand why he came early to our house, and not theirs since he was already in the neighborhood.
"The summer of 1950, the dime store in Rockwood displayed a Lionel Santa Fe Flyer train set in the window. It was and still is, at least in my memories, the most beautiful toy train set that was ever made. The double diesel engines were silver with a red nose and yellow trim. It was love at first sight, and one of those items that a boy automatically knew was meant for him and him alone.
"The trick was how to get that train. Even at the age of seven I knew dad couldn't afford it. We lived at 417 S. Kingston Avenue which was smack dab in the middle of the middle section of the Kingwood homes in Rockwood, and people didn't live in the Kingwood homes because they had a lot of money.
"Someday I'll write more about all the great kids that grew up in those Kingwood homes in the 1950's, but more about that later. Let me get back to this story, but what was I talking about? Oh yes, I remember now, it was how to get the train that was meant for me. Well, dad was out of the question since after paying the family bills not much was left, and there was already four of us kids to support. My sister June was 9, Ronnie was two, and my brother Terry was just a few months old that Christmas.
"After spending a great deal of time thinking about how to get the train I finally realized the only answer was Santa Claus. Like all seven year old kids I knew the trick to getting Santa to bring me that train for Christmas was to be good the rest of the year. I really tried, I did, but in truth I failed miserably. I'm sure that my parents must have got awfully tired of me talking about that train for those several months before Christmas. Mom and Dad would both tell me that Santa could only give an expensive toy like a train set to a few kids each year, and maybe when I was older he might bring me one. Of course, I wasn't accepting that type of talk and they would always point out my bad attitude only added to the reasons that Santa would not bring me a train this year. I think I knew that I didn't stand a chance of getting that train set, but by no means was I going to give up making a pest of myself by talking about it as often as I could...."
Well, readers, let's leave "Ralphie"..(whoops I had "The Christmas Story" with "Ralphie" and his Red Ryder BB gun on my mind...) Let's leave Lloyd until next week when we will find out how his Christmas turned out.
Thanks to all of you for the many Emails and Christmas cards that Gennell and I received.
Until next YEAR, Ray

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