Jan 14 2008
08:40 am

Hello Readers, What a start to this New Year ! But more about that later, let's pick up last week's story from Lloyd (Buddy) Morris and find out if he got his "Santa Fe Flyer."

Lloyd writes," On Christmas Eve 1950, Ronnie and Terry were put to bed early while my sister and I walked to the Methodist Church on Kingston Avenue for services. How I miss that little church and especially on Christmas Eve. Just to once again smell the aroma from all of the brown paper bags that lined the Church, each filled with apples, oranges, nuts, and candy would make for a wonderful Christmas in itself. Most kids today could never begin to understand just how much those brown paper bags meant to most of the kids growing up in Rockwood in the 40's and 50's. After Church, June and I walked home and I remember that year it was especially bitter cold and one of the few Christmas Eves that we had snow coming down. Sis and I were filled with the excitement of knowing that Santa Claus had already been at our house, and walked home as quickly as we could."
" I rushed into the house and looked around the tree only to find no train. How my little heart was broken, to this day I remember it as if it was only yesterday. I asked where my presents were and Dad handed me a small gift wrapped box, and with tears in my eyes, I opened it. Inside the paper was a small truck, and Dad said that was the only gift under the tree for me. The shock of getting only the little truck was too much and I began to cry even more. How could it be, not only did I not get my train, just one little old truck and not much of a truck at that. Dad told me that if I couldn't be thankful for at least getting a gift for Christmas, even a small one, that I should to bed. I couldn't believe it, not only did I just get a little old dumb truck for Christmas, but here I was being sent to bed. Well, that really did it and while I had been crying before, there is no other way to describe it, but to say that I now started to bawling with the tears flowing nonstop. Dad said in a voice that I knew, that I had better mind, "I told you if you can't act any better than that, then go to bed right now."
"There in the middle of my bedroom floor going around on a track laid out in a figure 8 was my Santa Fe Flyer. No little boy in the world could have went through a more emotional Christmas on that Christmas Eve of 1950 than I did, and a precious Christmas memory was made. I do not remember looking at my Dad's eyes that night as I was too excited with my gift, but I know in my heart that it made as much of a memory for him as it did for me. Each year, when I place a train around our Christmas tree, I always say, "Thanks Dad for you and Santa giving me a precious Christmas memory. Sometimes I will configure the track into a figure 8 and just sit for a long time and remember those wonderful days of the 1950's on Kingston Avenue."
Thanks Lloyd for that wonderful story. I hope Lloyd continues to share more memories with us.
And thanks to all of you for the phone calls, emails, and get-well messages during my recent hospital stay. As most of you know, Dec. 29, I was having chest pains and went to Roane Medical Center. After tests, I was transferred to Park West in Knoxville and received two stents on Jan. 1st. I know they recognize the first newborn of 2008, how about me for the first heart stent receiver? I came back home Jan. 3, after missing the New Year's Eve ball drop, and most of all I missed the Vol's bowl victory. As Coach Fulmer would say "DAD-GUM-IT., but we sure are proud of our Vols. Things should be back to normal around our house soon and the Rockwood Memories will be back on schedule.
Thanks, and until next week.......Ray

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid / TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.