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Still turning by gum

After all the years since I was a young ‘un, I’m still not absolutely certain that REA tower lit up like a Christmas tree in Demopolis is not actually turning as you drive past. I can guarantee y’all I had a heap of age on me before I even doubted it was going in circles. Even now it’s a good thing to be motoring north up Highway 43, and watch those three strings of lights come into focus … and … yep, watch it sorta turn. Hey, how come anybody would want to doubt that turning? You still believe in Santa Claus, don’t you?

Okay, Christmas is over for another year, but let me hasten to give a big ol’ “Ho, ho, ho,” and recommend we keep that Christmas marveling in our hearts all the year long

Been a few years since I climbed up on our roof in my Santa suit on a Christmas Eve, laughed with the chullen and grown folks gathered on the lawn, threw down some candy, asked each child what they wanted, and even remembered some Santa times with the old folks when they were themselves youngsters. I always hoped those kids would grow up, and remember a Christmas Eve when the Jolly 01’ Elf spent a few minutes with them, as he parked his sleigh on a nearby roof on his route over the world that special night.

You know, it is always the right time to start a Christmas tradition, new or old, so be planning for next year right now. Daddy always got up before anybody else, and built a fire in the living room before Ma, Billy and I made our Christmas morning appearance. After opening presents, and before Ma started breakfast, Daddy read the Christmas Story every year until I was twelve. On that special morning he handed the Bible to me, and asked me read. I’ve been doing it every since, although I’ve asked my older son to take over. He just shrugs, and suggests I do it one more year for the Boggs Family Christmas.

More than once I’ve written of the melodious voice of Buddy Bley, who read letters to Santa on WXAL, 1400 on your radio dial back in the forties. It was awesome to hear your letter read out loud for all to hear, including St. Nick himself.

Mostly, though, for millions of us, especially in the Deep South, our memories are centered around not just family, but the church. The church of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Reason for the season.

A man or woman today might very well not recollect the most favorite toy ever found under the tree, but it’s for sure we’ll recall the family members and friends who gathered together to laugh, share a meal, worship the Lord and love one another.

And I’ll just betcha there is more than one fellow or gal around who will declare that lighted tower did, in fact, turn every Christmas.. .and still might be turning. You see, that’s the magic of the season, so although Christmas is past for another year, let’s hold on to that season feeling, and be bright eyed and busy tailed next year when that lighted tree once more spins to our delight, and we get that feel good spirit we ought to have and ought to keep every month of the year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EACH OF YOU, DEAR READERS.

— Tom Boggs is a columnist for the Demopolis Times and a native of Marengo County. His column,“Days Gone Bye,” appears weekly.

 

(This column originally appeared in the Wednesday, December 26 issue of the Demopolis Times.)