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Author Topic: Christmas and Thought's of the Old Time's and Good Food... and Best of Friend's  (Read 781 times)

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Offline H60 Hawk Pilot

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Well Here we are, just one day to Christmas and I think of Yesterday and My Fondess Memories.

We had a dairy farm and lived in a big old farm house that had 12 foot ceilings, it was built in the 188?'s as I recall.  I smile when I think of these times, we were farmer's snd sort of poor but not poor at all in the ways that really count; really the best of times, just my Grand Mother, Dad, Mother and me.

I can (nearly) smell the food cooking in the big kitchen, we had a wood stove and later on... a electric range in the 50's.  My favorite foods were (wild) Turkey or Pheasant and Vension that was cooked in a old skillet. She'd put the thin sliced vension on home made butter bread with a little ketchup. We butcher'd too and had pigs and a did up a couple beef cattle for the year. I remember making ice cream and turning the churn and helping my Grand Mother make pies when I was small. We go to the orchard and she'd climb up in the apple tree's when she was in her 70's and shake them down. She (Mary) sure was something, nothing stopped her and had eight children, what a lady. My Grand Mother was my 2nd Mother with my Mother working like a man on the farm everyday, she was my No# 1 mentor and bible study on her lap as well.

We had a big extended family and they'd all come to the home place to visit at Christmas. Yes,  lot's of fun and story's to share with one another. My Dad always got a big Christmas (cut on the farm) tree and would cut it so it just fit to the top of the 12 foot ceiling. The star would just go on the tree with a inch or so to spare from the ceiling. The old house had two fire places in it in the beginning but were close up in the 40's. The house as built like a barn and boxed beams made up of  Chestnut, White Pine and Oak (solid). A wood and coal furnace was installed with some heat duct's that ran to the rooms on the bottom floor. The up stairs was not heated and was as (nearly) cold inside as it was outside in the the Winter. I'd sleep under a big pile of quilt's and undress or dress under the covers when it was really cold (frezzing).

The Winter's in PA were really something in the 50's to the 70's. We'd have snow all year long and the river would freeze over and was normal to freeze every year. We'd ice skate for miles on the river and sled riding and bob sled's... Yes the Best of Times.  In the 30's we had a ice house (before my time) and pulled the ice from the river with horses with special shoes for this purpose. When we farmed with horse's, we had 10 teams and 350 acres of river bottom ground to plow.

Well, almost all the folks are gone now but not forgotten and truely the best of times.

Happy Holidays and New Year's and We All Have Our Special Thought's of Other's & Best of Times that still Warm our Heart.  

The Best to our Soldier's that are Protecting Us, they have so many Emotion's going through their mind's and I can Identify with them as a soldier in Vietnam in 1970.
From the Heart and God Bless our Troop's (worldwide).


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Offline Raider Bill

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Jerry is a very good friend of mine for many years. This is his;

                                                              T'WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
T'was the night before Christmas, and all thru the camp,
Not a creature was stirring, it was just cold and damp.
The XO in his OGs, and I in my cap,
just got to thinking, it was getting time for a nap.
When out past the barbed wire, there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bunker, to see what was the matter.
The night was so dark, the air looked like ink.
Then out past the wire, I saw a red light  blink.
"What is it?", asked a sergeant, as we all froze.
Then up off the horizon it slowly arose.
We watched as it rose, and passed on over head,
and somehow we knew, there was nothing to dread.
As it passed on by, we saw something fall out,
and the team sergeant cried, "Better look out!".
A large green sack, landed with a splat,
and the XO exclaimed "Now just what is that?!".
We were surprised, when it landed with a thump,
but we slowly approached, and picked it on up.
"What do we have here?", the team sergeant cried,
We hefted it up, then carried it inside.
We dumped it out on the table, and stood back in surprise.
There were gifts and packages for all, we were able to surmise.
There was a new poncho for me, I'd lost it out there somewhere,
and cookies and candy, and  even some underwear!
There was a new jungle sweater for the old team sergeant....
he'd given his to a child in the village, He just just said "Well darn it!"
This was his third war, and I'd never seen him smile,
with a small tear in his eye, he wore a huge grin for a while.
The gifts were so welcome, and we were amazed at all we had got,
and even more surprised, that we had not been forgot.
Later that night, with smiles on our faces,
We retired to our bunkers, and our usual places.
But we will never forget, on that cold dark night,
that someone remember, that soldiers don't always fight.
The above actually sort of happened, at A-222, a SPECIAL FORCES A-TEAM in south Vietnam.
It was near a village called Dong Tre, that the camp helped protect.
"SANTA" arrived by helicopter that night, escorted by a gunship.
It was Christmas Eve 1966, and the packages were from the SCREEN ACTORS GUILD in Hollywood.
The operation was headed by Charlton Hestin, then the head of the guild.
None of the 12 or so troopers that experienced that generosity will ever forget, tho at least two of us would not survive
the war.
So carry on and enjoy the evening, safe and secure.  You know that even now
others stand on the line, and allow no one to cross that might mean us harm.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a hoped for quiet, peaceful night.
SFC (Ret) Gerald A Willsey
Formerly, chief medic
A-222, Dong Tre
The First 60 years of childhood is always the hardest.

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