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Christmas Story 2003

Christmas Story 2003

If you click on the underlined name below you can see pictures of the characters

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Whitlow Enterprises, the home of smoke school with a smile. Voted by The American football League as the best darn smoke school from here to the moon. Let me tell you about our Christmas. Well it was great. Heather turned 12 on December 16. We had one of those old fashioned birthday parties where a few of her friends came over and we played games. I remember my momma when I was a boy always liked costume parties for me and my brother. I remember one particular birthday, I think I was 12. We were living next to the railroad track on Nichols Ave in Monroe Louisiana. We had a lot of hobos hanging out in the boxcars on the spur track in our backyard. Sometimes we would have hobo parties, where we all dressed in overhauls and red bandannas tied to fishing poles

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But this particular party at 12 -years- old was a good one. It was a cowboy party and  I was John Wayne in Stage Coach. I mean I had the chaps, the boots, the big cowboy hat and a frilly shirt. I even had a 6 shooter- cap gun. Patricia Parker lived across the street. She had blue eyes and hair like cotton. I was head over hills in love with her, ain't no doubt about it. I had already kissed her and asked her daddy if we could get married. I was in hogs heaven. Anyway, Daddy had this old 8-ft trailer he hauled trash to the dump in. That trailer became the stage coach. We must have shot a million stage coach robbers. Oh it was something else. Funny how some things just stay in your mind. We grow up, we have our own kids. The bills pile up and so do the responsibilities. You have just got to stay on top of life and make the best of it for what it is. Remember that memories don't just happen. You have to make them happen. Think of your kids and your grandkids this holidays. And try real hard to make everyday like Christmas.

Oh there is one thing you should know. I thought Heather was old enough to learn the truth about Santa Clause. I remember right about the time of that 12th birthday, Tommy Platt, Patricia Parkers Boy Friend, ain't that a heck of a note, any way Tommy Platte told me that there was no Santa Clause. I proceeded to jump right up there on top of him and beat the crap out of him right there on the School Yard. Then I went home and asked my Daddy. He reassured me that Santa was real and that he would be coming down the chimney, although we did not have a chimney, I believed him. And sure enough he did and he brought me a red Murray bicycle all shiny and new. Actually, when I woke up at 5 AM, I ran to the Christmas tree and there was an electric train and a few other Sears and Roebuck Catalogue toys, but there was no bicycle. I was sure that Daddy had lied to me and there was no Santa Clause after all. I mean I was crying or trying not to cry. Then my Momma asked me to go into the kitchen to fetch her some coffee. I did, the lights were out. I stumbled over the bicycle and I knew Santa was alive and well.

Anyway, Heather was sitting on the couch and I was thinking about the day I beat up Tommy Platte. I decided to tell her.  Maybe, I should have waited until after Christmas, but I did not. I remembered all of her Christmases before, trying to get her to bed early. Barely staying awake myself so I could bring out all of those Santa Clause presents and putting them under the tree. Eating all of those Christmas cookies, and drinking that glass of milk.

Well, I just said it. Let me tell you about Santa Clause. Let me introduce you to Santa Clause. Then I said, Ho Ho Ho. Well she just looked at me like what the hell do you mean. I did not say anything. I just gave her that look. I felt sorry and I felt regret. I wished I hadn't said anything. But I did and it was too late to bring it back. As it sunk in, tears came into her eyes, and mine too. Then after a while she said, "Do you mean you guys have been buying me presents all of these years.  " YeP"

"But you guys are always broke'

I didn't say anything. -- not to a girl who spends 40 bucks on makeup at Wal-Mart at one time.

"Daddy, did you buy me a DVD Player last year and put it under the tree. "

"yep"

Well Christmas went well here in Indiana. We had snow, but it did not stick. We had ham and all the trimmings. Catherine actually cooked it. My momma was there, so were the in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, and nephews. We watched football games and played cards. We played Oh Hell, ever heard of that one. Heather seemed to adjust to life after Santa Clause, I told her that Santa was a spirit and he lived in all of us. I said there was a difference between Santa and Jesus. You know, if I had life to live over, then I wish I could really be Santa Clause. I love the look on a kids face when you give them something. or maybe I would like to be John Wayne and the Cowboys.

Well Pilgrim, the day after Christmas, I went on an expedition with my Amish Friend Melvin Yoder two of his six children in Territory between Bedford Indiana and Orleans, Indiana. Orleans don't look nothing at all like New Orleans. It was still snowing but not sticking. Somehow, some one from Phoenix Arizona had gotten a hold to Melvin and wanted to make him a middle man in purchasing a team of perfectly matched Amish Belgian horses, exactly 18 hands high with Blonde coat. We visited about 5 Amish farms.  I should be used to it, but I am not. There is just something about those homade dark clothes and those hats, and the beards trimmed exactly alike. We stopped by one farm, they were all on the porch. I am not sure what religion they were, and Melvin did not know either. They talked with definitely a Dutch accent and they were dressed a lot like pilgrims, right off the Mayflower. I guess they must have been Quakers. One particular farmer was very interesting. He was a woodworker and he had a shop. Amish are very good at woodworking and cooking candy.

This woodworker had an over head shelf with about 40 old-time gear driven hand held drills. They all looked brand new. Had a different size bit in each drill. Some drills were geared to be slow and some were fast. He said they were the first cordless drills. My job in this expedition was to drive. Melvin still uses a horse and buggy. My job was also to take pictures of the horses so I could email them to the dude in Phoenix.  Amish don't like their pictures taken. So I had to be sneaky. I asked the first farmer if I could take a photo of the horses. He said no. So there you are. Melvin said I should have walked around the corner and just took the photo. After that, I just took the pictures when nobody was looking. I got a few pretty good pictures, but somebody stole my digital camera when we were in Little Rock, right out of the hotel.

I took the pictures of the horses on the old regular camera and I will have to take them to Wal-Mart to be digitalized. I learned a lot about Amish Horse Trading. "I don't think I want to sell these horses. " Not unless I can get $ 5,000 for them. Melvin did not balk, so I guess this dude in Phoenix will pay $ 5,000 for a team of perfectly matched Amish Belgian horses, exactly 18 hands high with Blonde coat. He wants to put them in some sort of parades over there in Arizona. And friends that is the way it is.

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