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HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, 1950
On the national front, Harry S. Truman was president. General Douglas MacArthur was in Korea where war between North and South Korea had just begun. Locally, news spread through the grapevine that someone had left the aprons of the ferry-barge down causing quite a happening in our little community of Shell Landing, Florida. This event resulted in an intoxicated driver of a Model-A Ford dropping off the deep end of the ferry. You could see the top of the Ford coupe at the bottom of the cold and clear Holmes Creek. Creating even more excitement, divers were brought in from Eglin Air Force base to make sure no one was in the car.
This particular Christmas was special for our family, because we had a new baby sister in our family. There were three of us boys, and we knew nothing about how to treat a little girl. My younger brother was three, and seemed to be missing all of the attention he was accustomed to. My older brother was seventeen, and seemed to shrug the excitement off as if it were just another added responsibility. I was the middle son, soon to be twelve years old. Reading my first book entitled “Little Britches”, I thought having a little cowgirl around would be very special.
My dad worked away from home on a dredge boat, dredging the Intracoastal Waterway near Lake Wimico, Florida. He always came home, especially on Christmas Eve. Expectations were very high for us on this special day, but dark came and still no dad, no Santa Claus, no Christmas tree, and no presents. Momma was visibly worried about Dad, but concerned for us, especially the younger ones.
Christmas Eve night, momma went into action. She made special homemade candy, and wrapped it in little paper bags for us kids. A small pine tree in our front yard was decorated as she tied all of the homemade candy on it. It was a make-shift Christmas tree for sure; however, it was the most memorable one of my life. I still remember my little brother on that cold Christmas morning, jumping up and down around our Christmas tree. You would have thought Santa had brought him a brand-new red wagon.
Our dad made it home just before dinner on Christmas day, 1950. He had a corn sack over his left shoulder, and it was full of food (fruits, nuts, and oranges) and presents. Christmas was now complete – Everyone was home!!
My thoughts often lead me back to our old home-place, especially during the Christmas season. The apostle Paul wrote of being with the folks at Corinth, in spirit. Christmas seems to be a time of remembering. Our thoughts and spirit allow us to visit with our long departed love ones. I think I shall meditate a little longer this Christmas.
Mom and dad’s family is having a gathering together again this Christmas. It will be our first one in a long while. I have a great feeling this Christmas will also be a memorable one.
A very merry, merry Christmas to all,
Bertha and Sonny Marlow
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This page was last updated on: 29 Dec 2011