Three Months Until Christmas!

When I first began at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale many of my colleagues would say in regards to a job that they had completed, ‘Close enough for government work!’ Contrary to public opinion, often their work was complete and excellent…but they still felt the need to quote their proverb that gave them some comfort should the foreman find a need for improvement in the work product. Since I am on the subject of obscure colloquial sayings…let me share with you another. At the beginning of each evening work shift and at the conclusion of the shift we were required to report to the Building Services Office. At the beginning of the shift to enable a foreman to report our presence on the daily attendance and at the conclusion to turn in our nightly time card. At the end of the shift, Jimmy Cook, a Building Custodian, would exclaim to John Golliher, a foreman, ‘Let her bump!’ John would respond on each occasion, ‘Let her bump…Jimmy Cook!’ I was 20 years old…and mystified by the exchange… A year or more later I asked a member of my team what, ‘Let her bump,’ meant? Ruth Biggs, who was John Golliher’s sister, told me that it was an old railroad term that referred to allowing the train cars to bump…in order for them to connect together. So, now it is 3 months until Christmas…and I am already in Spirit! Or you might say that this is one of my obscure traditions. MJ observed that I seemed to enjoy the Christmas Season more than Christmas Day! I reluctantly have to admit that she is right. I am a bit let down by the Day…because my revelry is over…

Are you with me…does it seem that 2020 began…yesterday? Has our pandemic odyssey robbed us of a year while we were preoccupied? In any event…October is coming up…and I will be 63! I can recall when turning 40 seemed old. My buddy Steve and I share the same birthday…although one of us is a bit older than the other… I rejoiced to see that Turner Classic Movies had a day full of Science Fiction and Horror movies, what we customarily referred to as B Movies. I am recording Village of the Dammed…it is creepy. I loved monster movies and science fiction movies when I was a youngster. My cousin, Billy, was subscribed to Forest J. Ackermans’s Monster Magazines and he had the most excellent collection of full monster masks that I had ever seen! I had a collection of Monster Models which included Frankenstein and Wolfman and Dracula. I glued them together and painted them with the little bottles of model paint that you could find in any Ben Franklin Dime Store. Billy and I made an 8 millimeter movie of me with his Creature From the Black Lagoon full head mask and Creature hands walking through the strip cut near Eldorado, Illinois.

So Christmas is coming and with it the hope for better days ahead! One of the first impressions that I had of my church, of over 21 years…was that First Presbyterian Church in Carbondale…did Christmas right! We first attended a Sunday in November of 1998…just before Thanksgiving. We were greeted warmly and the members of the congregation were so nice and interested in our sons. I think that it was the next Sunday that the minister began to speak of decorating the Christmas Tree in the churches narthex. At that time I did not know what a narthex was…but I found out. The tree was resplendent with multicolored twinkled lights and there were Nativity scenes and Creches throughout the narthex and the sanctuary…as well as, what seemed like a 100 poinsettia plants…strategically placed. We attended our first Christmas Eve church service…and it began at 11:00 P:M: and ended at the stroke of midnight. The service was primarily candlelight and the minister caused me to reflect on a Charles Dickens Christmas…and I looked for Tiny Tim and his father…Bob Cratchit… I was totally won over to the Presbyterian Church…that night!

After my mom and dad divorced…we had little money. Nevertheless mom found a way to purchase some Christmas presents for me. We enjoyed Christmas with my grandmother, Grace, and my mother’s sister’s, Wanda and Guelda and Vema…along with my cousins, Brenda and Billy. There was fudge and cookies and candies and divinity…which you never see anymore….and a great helping of love and family…and hope for a better day…

6 responses

  1. I can’t believe its three months before that time of the year. I hope it can be as nice as always and covid won’t rub off the pain on us.

    1. I hope so, too, my friend! πŸŽ„

  2. Time flies and soon 2020 ends! Here’s wishing you a happy 63rd in October! Stay safe and healthy. May Covid-19 be eradicated.

    1. Time does fly! Thank you, my friend! 🌞

  3. And I’m so excited from right now….lolπŸ˜…πŸ˜…

    Cant believe just 3 mnths to go..πŸ’–πŸ’–

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