Another View

Holiday nights and knights

By: Robin & The Time Traveler
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Time Traveler:
The Portuguese Pirate & Bloody Parrot are at it again! The Pirate and that noisome moth-eaten excuse for a parrot will do anything to get me bumped off the second banana seat on our Newcastle Television Show airing at 10 a.m. every Saturday morning on KAHI 950 on the radio dial. 
On our show airing on Dec. 9 you will notice I ain’t there. Just as we started to record, I got an anonymous phone call from someone with a muffled high pitch voice shrieked that my old homestead was on fire. I raced over only to discover the house was intact and Bloody Parrot perched on a branch chewing a burnt match. Before I could climb up the tree for further discussion he flew off. If I get my hands on him, I’ll turn him into a feather duster.
Enough of that. It seems I have survived to witness another Christmas and it’s time for Newcastle’s Annual Celebration. The tree is up at Marshall Square and the decorations are going up all over town. This year as in past years, volunteers come out of the wood work.
Keep Thursday night, Dec. 7 open and join us in Newcastle. This year because of the deep involvement of our school the event will be called Holiday Knights. We officially start at 5 p.m. with the tree lighting at 5:15. At 5:30 Santa arrived on our 1941 Van Pelt Fire Engine accompanied by the Sugar Plump Fairies. The event promises to be bigger and better than ever.
We will have plenty of vendors and of course s’mores by the bonfire. Our local school is very much involved and kids from kindergarten through eighth grade will be performing. Should be a great day don’t miss it.
This is the time of year I have a tendency to harken back to my early youth and reflect on how much simpler life was then. My family was poor, but I didn’t know it, many folks in our community didn’t have a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out of. Peer pressure hadn’t been invented yet, we were lucky if our socks matched.
Our school was constructed of three Quonset huts (probably military surplus) to house all eight grades. Open the door on both ends in the summer and fire up the coal oil stove in the winter and we had central heat and air.
On m first day of first grade, I remember Joey Deliwrh’s folks dropped him off. He was wearing a heavy tweed sport coat. It was early September and hotter than the hinges of hell, so was Joey but he didn’t care. He was proud of it. He wore it until the third grade and by then the sleeves only came down to his elbows. Then his brother Ralphie inherited it. That coat was still going through the family when I graduated.
Christmas was my favorite time of year. We got a little time off from the drudgery of “readin’ and writen and ‘rithmatic” to practice Christmas carols, paste little pieces of art paper in rings to decorate the tree and rehearse our Christmas play.
I remember one year in particular when our play was a double feature. Robby Keene got to play Santa Claus and broke down crying right in the middle because Scotty Mc Fadden forgot to bring his grandpa’s pipe to use as a prop. Santa without a pipe?
I got to be the third wise man at the nativity play which annoyed my mother a little, I wasn’t quite as visible to the audience.  She made an outfit out of an old bathrobe with a petunia print, not Christmassy but what the hell.
What Mrs. Sook, my teacher didn’t know, and my mother didn’t know, I was packing heat. Under that robe I was carrying my six shot Roy Rodgers Cap Pistol. No way am I walking into a gun free zone unarmed.
Imagine all this happening in school. My Lord, outrageous! Despite those awful conditions none of us became axe murders or serial killers. Joey went on to become a highway patrolman, one of us a Union Oil exec, one a judge and me who continued to push the envelope a far as possible without getting caught.
Portuguese Pirate:
Apparently, I’ve not taught the bird the finer points of tomfoolery, make the call and clear out, some people’s birds!
Just to throw in my buck two ninety-four about Christmas, here it is: I’m befuddled each year as the Christmas season starts up before Oct. 31,  the 1962 song “Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Picket and The Crypt Kicker Five are still stuck in my head.  What’s happened, we used to savor the month between Thanksgiving and that family time “Christmas,” oh and might I say “jackpot day “to the little ones! Santa Claus, the last float in the Macy’s Day Parade was the signal to our Christmas season’s beginning. Now we celebrate a day of shoving, trampling and verbally abusing one another to save a buck or two on an item. This all happens on a day dubbed “Black Friday,” ominous name for the start of what’s supposed to be the ultimate family time, puzzling, Where’s the love? 
Well I will tell you this, in my world and my right to say it, it’s still “Merry Christmas” not Happy Holidays. You can say Happy Holidays to me but be ready for a Merry Christmas back at you. Politically correct, this is politically correct, “you have your phrase, I have mine” and we’ll just be happy for on another.
And so, as Tiny Tim said, “A Merry Christmas to us all; God bless us, everyone!” — Charles Dickens.