The head of the household stood up, with a familiar grin on his face, thinking how he would share the past. The kids, now grown, sat on the couch watching their dad, while grandchidren played quietly in the next room.
“It was 56 years ago this Christmas I met my wife.”
The grown kids looked around, checking each others response, knowing it was going to be a good one. “I was in the service. General Paul Tibbetts, came up and said, “Son, what are you doing tonight?” I really didnt know, but the General continued, “Tonight is a good night. A good night to take off and take a gal to dinner.”
It was Christmas day, December 25, 1956. The young man looked at his buddy and said, “Who am I going to take out at this short notice on Christmas day?” His buddy replied, a blind date, of course. His girlfriend had a friend who moved to Savannah 4 months prior. She didn’t really know anyone so a double date sounded perfect.
“Ahh, I don’t have any money, clothes are dirty, maybe tonight’s not a good night,” the man responded.
The friend answered, “Forget that! I have an extra sport coat and five dollars.”
The family, shifted in their seats while listening to the story, “five dollars wasn’t much grandpa,”. One of the uncles looked over and said, $5 bucks in “56″ was a lot. The date was put in to motion, he showed up at the girls house only to be greeted by a young 17 year old redhead. She looked too young, so instead of making eye contact, he looked past her telling her he was picking up her sister, Connie.
“That’s me!” she said blushing. She invited him into her home, pointing her hand to a coat draped over the chair. Hmmmm, what was I suppose to do now. She picked the coat up, handing it to him and he helped her put it on, all the while thinking, this girl’s got some class.
They went on the date and he brought her home. Smiling and staring into her eyes, he said, “I had a nice time, maybe we could do this again.” He then, shook her hand and said goodbye.
Looking at the kid’s on the couch, all smiling sipping their cocktails, he winked and said, ”This girl had class, I wanted to do things right.” After all, she was a southern gal.
His eyes glazed over as he thought about what he would say next. ”My friend once again, said they were going out on New Year’s Eve and for me to get a date. I pulled out my black book, called all the girlfriends, butt hey already had plans on short notice.” The last number he called, was the young 17 year old he had taken out on recently. She accepted to go out with him.
At that time, the tradition in Savannah, Georgia on New Years Eve, was to bring your Christmas tree to a location, stack them high and have a huge bonfire. The pile was maybe as high as our house. They watched the fire and again, he took her home, knowing he wanted to kiss her goodnight.
“I knew when I kissed her, she was the right one. I had her hooked.”
The young lady, 56 years later, smiled and said “Well I remember thinking it was a Carson City kiss…..I gave him a kiss and he found out what a kiss really was.” A year later they married in that great town of Savannah.
The year, 1959 was when I came into the world.
Fifty Six years later, I watch and listen to my parents. They are smiling at each other….sharing a secret between the two as they look at their three children sitting on the couch, all with their dad’s shit eating grin. My dad bends down to kiss her forehead, I look over at mom who has a tear in her eye, staring at him as if it’s their first time ever seeing each other. Dad too wipes his eye with the same look.
Just a little family tale, Merry Christmas