Memories are precious. They bring back good and the bad events in one’s life that marks that person’s character. As I pondered what to write for this blog and wanting to keep in the holiday spirit. The only things that remain on my mind were the memories and not just Christmas but Thanksgiving, New Year’s, and even Valentine’s Day. Generally, to me, holidays mean family. I would like to share a very few of my memories.
1970s Thanksgiving day. My mother had prepared the turkey and other family members arrived with side dishes and when all was ready my mom had set an eloquent table, including candles. After grace was said, the food was passed around, and conversations started. To set the scene, you should know my younger brother sported the disco hairstyle of the day, a permed Afro. Back to the event. I still don’t recall the reason he chose to lean over the table, but when he did, his hair came in contact with the candle flame. As you can imagine, an immediate panic set in and my mother grabbed a towel and kept slapping at his head in efforts to put out the fire. Actually, very little of his hair was damaged and after the initial fear subsided. The whole situation got funny and laughter filled the room. Interesting that the aroma of burnt hair replaced the savory smell of the turkey. That was the last time mother put candles on the table.
Christmas time with my mother’s family. Every year we’d get together with all the family members and spend a day with my grandparents. My mother’s family have always been musical and performers with my grandparents my mother and two of her sisters playing vaudeville and having their own radio show. My memories of this family Christmas time included my grandfather playing the fiddle, my mother and possibly my grandmother playing the guitar. My aunt playing the ukulele, and another aunt playing the autoharp. Country and gospel hymn songs were sung in two and three-part harmony. I did not play an instrument, but I could sing harmony to any level. Occasionally someone would bring a portable piano and a steel guitar and that would add to the instrumental sounds. Sadly, as the family grew older the instruments and voices have disappeared, but the memories stay alive.
New Year’s Eve. For many years as I worked as a deputy sheriff and I was required along with the other deputies to work New Year’s Eve’s. It wasn’t guaranteed time of action. There is nothing like the sound of bullets falling from the sky and landing on your car. We always had those parties in which the partygoers would go outside and at the stroke of midnight they would fire off multiple guns in celebration. As officers, we would do our best to explain that what goes up must come down a.k.a. bullets. But being drunk is they were, they were not seeing reason and usually chose to argue which would escalate to threatening and occasionally culminate in arrests.
And then there were the barroom disturbances in which first aid possibly ambulance and arrests were always the order of things. I do have to note that on one occasion. New Year’s Eve while at a barroom disturbance. I was trying to get the attention of a witness on the dance floor of a club right at the time the countdown rang midnight. Suddenly a man had snatched me up into a full-blown dance. Really? I asked him to let me go, and he replied with “Aren’t you part of the party?” I stepped back so that he could fully see the uniform and responded with “Do I look like it? “Well, at least I got a dance out of it.
I considered going on to Valentine’s Day and tell you about that one. However, I think I will save that for another blog. I do however want to pass on my sincere wishes that you have a beautiful Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s day. I hope you get to spend them with family and friends and make wonderful memories for yourself.