Christmas memories go on and on!

If you can start your Christmas memories at a concert in a one-room school packed with parents, they are still a thrill!
Especially if you can recall being introduced because you are the new kid in school. Good, old Robert Moore School is far away as you look around wildly from the tiny corner stage back of the barrel stove.
So you start to get it out: “I’ve washed my face and combed my hair and not forgot to say my prayers . . .”
It was nothing notable but I got over it—my first time on my feet in public. And let’s just say here and now, that was enough for life!
Other Christmas experiences blur in comparison to that long ago ordeal even though they were usually more materially rewarding, starting with the loot from under the tree and a stocking full of hard candy and maybe an orange, depending on family fortunes, this being the ’30s.
You expected the major gifts would be either new long underwear or a pair of “breeks,” or maybe moccasins. The breeks most kids owned were wool britches laced down at the bottom of the legs to keep out the snow, and the moccasins came up to the ankles.
So you were set for our rougher kind of winters.
Which makes you wonder about this winter so far with its balmy temperatures and rain, and icy roads trying to skid you into oblivion—right after paying your town taxes, too!
But our town’s street crews never give up.
That brings up your annual financial woes—complete with all the big bills timed to arrive in December. There’s your fuel, of course, your reward for staying north of the border while heating subsidies are paid below the border.
There’s your car and truck insurance bills also making you wonder how you are supposed to enjoy Christmas?
But what the hay! Interest rates have been dropping for those forced to borrow money. That’s enough to get you excited about buying those big-ticket items now “while you can afford them!”
So you try and relax with the TV while its monthly rental keeps climbing too because vulgarity and obscenities cost more lately—but then, you also get more for your money!
I’m getting along better now with the old favourites and the re-run movies from 40 years ago though! Just the other day I saw old Henry Fonda as a 20-year-old!
And how you can beat these today: “Mash” and “The Golden Girls,” and “All in the Family” and “Murder She Wrote”? Your contemporary dramas just don’t make it at all! Or even try! But they’ll continue throwing you the old “f” word!
Yet Christmas here in good, old Atlantis can still prove terrific—and maybe even white after all.
No, with the worst of the ice melted away, let it snow—but keep those sand trucks and plows running because a fresh year lies ahead and how else could we use up all our tax money anyway?
• • •
There’s space left yet to work in another local Christmas memory from when the late Fred MacKellar, the papermill boss, used to play Santa Claus to the whole town!
He would make it known what day to come and eat and drink with him and other O-M officers in the Rainy Lake Hotel ballroom, where he stood carving and serving all afternoon.
Among his assistants here would be Albert McKelvie, Gordon Baldwin, and all the others who won’t soon be forgotten. And Fred’s great laugh would be booming out for everyone who came along.
• • •
Rose-Ann Tweedie, one of La Vallee’s leading ladies, is reported leading the folks trying to receive damage settlements from insurance companies following that July 31 windstorm.
The cheques have been slow in coming.
• • •
But Tom Drew and the other “ham” radio operators are happy to report fresh satisfaction with their transmissions from Hydro’s McIrvine tower. They had been told earlier that would be ended, much to their despair.
The Rainy Lake Amateur Radio Club stands ready again to function for emergencies.
• • •
Then there’s Walter Andrusco, who has been seen riding a bicycle at 94 or 95. And trying to keep up with the real seniors here, if there is ice on our lakes soon, look for Durwood Angus, now 93, to be out there fishing.
A nephew reports Durwood is feeling good again.
• • •
For those icy driving conditions, better carry a bag of kitty litter to throw under your wheels. This tip comes compliments of Ross Webb.
• • •
Now for the big annual greeting plus advice to clean your chimney or the old guy may forget you next year. Ho, ho, ho!
Make it merry—not murky!

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