In the mid-1970s we took a trip back to our home town, Buffalo, New York.
Somebody had been rearranging the scenery.
First, I missed the arching elm trees that were wiped out by Dutch Elm Disease.
Those DAMN Dutch!
Buffalo without the majestic elms was like seeing your grandmother in her underwear.
There were little new trees being held up by sticks and wire.
I hoped I would live long enough to see them full grown.
We were driving our motor home and stayed at a KOA on Grand Island,
a big chunk of land in the Niagara River that was rural in my childhood,
but was now looking suburban.
The temperature was in the low 40’s,
and the wind across the island was fierce.
Accompanied by my old buddy Bob Egan and his girlfriend Mary Lou,
we made the rounds of the nightspots and dayspots.
I noticed that people had an obsession with “improving” pianos.
Most of the grand old upright pianos had been cut down
in an attempt to make them into spinets. It didn’t work.
The shape always came out sort of hunchbacked.
They stuck to it, though,
painting them with pink or white enamel, and putting mirrors over the keys.
I could never play a piano with mirrors over the keys.
I can’t stop watching the hands in the mirror.
It’s like trying to talk with an echo on the telephone line.
Each night we started out at a Grand Island tavern
built into the downstairs floor of an old house.
The large screened porch covering the front of the building had storm windows up.
It was late autumn, and no place for sissies.
The Roast Beef sandwiches on Weck, a Buffalo specialty, were perfect.
That’s about all I ate while in town.
The tavern had an old upright piano,
that was a bit out of tune and was missing some ivories.
It looked as though it needed some Ragtime,
so we played some every night.
We also went to Dinty Moore’s Restaurant at Elmwood and Kenmore Avenues,
where they had a piano bar and a dance floor.
Misty danced with Bob, who looked funny in my huge brimmed cowboy hat.
That’s the first time we’ve been bar hopping in a 38 foot motorhome.
In the daylight, we took in Delaware Park, the zoo,
the houses where we used to live, some old landmarks
All things wood must be covered with Formica,
and a big picture window must be gouged out of every house front.
Crinkly shingles of various colors were tacked on to houses I used to like.
The solid wood counter on the upstairs porch was now wrought iron railing.
Satellite TV dishes pop out of the wall like giant toadstools,
and our wonderful sunporch was replaced by the mandatory picture window.
Before we said goodby,
we had a couple of get-togethers in a North Tonawanda tavern,
played music, and had fun.
Most of those friends and relatives are gone now,
but we still see them in our memories of that visit,
and in the fading snapshots that were taken.
I learned something…
It’s not so much the the way it looks, or the economic situation,
or even the great food
It’s the feeling… the aura, that makes Buffalo unique.
The soul, the energy, and the personality are still there.
LATER: In 2010 We visited Buffalo again and found it better than ever.
Many of our old haunts had ignored time and were the same, but with new people.
There were new improvements and the city looked great.
Buffalo has its unique energy and personality.
We’d love to visit again sometime,
but we don’t live there anymore.
Life is getting weirder.
Last week I went to renew my driver’s license.
For some reason they now require the following:
Your birth certificate;
Your old driver’s license;
Two proofs of residence;
Your Social Security card;
A marriage license, whether or not you’ve ever been married;
Medical records with your name and birth date;
A pint of blood;
And other proofs that you exist.
Misty went with me to renew hers. Our birthdays are close together.
She had to prove that her last name was now Blanchard.
This is true:
An 84-year-old friend of mine was recently required to provide an affidavit
swearing that he and his elderly wife were actually married, and not living in sin.
It was to prove that her last name was legally the same as his.
We’re all under suspicion.
They noticed that my driver’s license and Social Security card said “Jack Blanchard”,
but my birth certificate said “John Blanchard”.
This made me a suspect and they wouldn’t renew my license.
They told me to go to the Social Security office 25 miles across the city,
and get them to change my S.S. card to “John”.
Misty was sent on a similar mission.
The next day was 85 degrees in the shade here in Florida,
and about double that in our car because the A/C Freon was low.
We drove an hour and waited on a steel bench for two hours.
We couldn’t share our anger with any of the crowd,
because they were as mad as we were..
Misty got a friendly clerk and zipped right through.
The woman asked her “Are you really Misty Morgan?”.
She was a fan.
I got a sleepy-eyed clerk who had her young son with her,
and they were ready to go home.
We were not happy to see each other.
She looked at her computer, which was out of my line of sight,
and said this: “We have you as ‘Jack’ for your whole life.”
I said, “Me too.”
She asked if I could name any companies I’d worked for.
I named about six Buffalo factories where I’d labored away my youth.
She studied the computer screen and said nothing.
By now she knew who I was, but wouldn’t admit it.
I had two large manila envelopes packed with what I thought were important papers.
She shoved them back at me and said, “You need two pieces of ID that say “John”.
I said “I know. That’s why they sent me here…
to have you change my S.S. card to “John”,
and then I’ll have to live as John for life.”
She said “You will have to change all your legal things to John…
titles to your home and vehicles, your credit, your will, your bills,
and your underwear.”
She was getting tired of me.
She told me it would be easier to legally change my first name to “Jack”.
I’ve been Jack all my life and didn’t know it was a crime.
I stomped out the door as everybody else was doing.
So I called our lawyer and said this:
“Hi. This is Jack. I need to change my name to Jack.”
We went to court a couple of weeks later.
After being strip searched on the way in, the case went well.
Even the judge laughed.
I said “Haha.”
After endless driving in traffic and arguing with morons,
it cost us over $1,100.
But, now I’m legally “Jack”.
ROCK QUEEN SIGNS OFF In 1976, Sarah Fleischer fresh out of Broadcasting Institute of Maryland tickled pink with her new position on then-Beautiful Music WMAR FM (97.9). When Sarah discovers that WIYY FM flips All-News for Rock she quickly calls the WIYY FM PD. Sarah Fleischer eventually settles into a midday DJ spot the Queen. Sarah beats all the odds and lasts on WIYY FM (98 Rock) for 38 years. On Friday, June 5, 2015 Baltimore, MD’s very own Queen Of Rock Sarah Fleischer retires from radio.
IF YOU THINK THIS ISSUE OF JRRR IS WORTH READING…Please forward this entire issue to five of your friends and associates! To subscribe to Jim Rose Remembers Radio send your full Name, City, State and Country of residence plus email address to Rosekkkj@earthlink.net.
CANDY DEPARTS MORNINGS ON WMJX FM Greater Media AC WMJX FM (Magic 106.7) Boston, MA Morning Magic co-host Candy O’Terry after 25 years onboard declines a new two-year offer. Candy says that she frees herself up to pursue some longstanding interests outside radio. The lovely Candy O’Terry’s exit causes morning co-host David O’Leary to use temporary rotating fill-in help. WMJX FM Director of Programming Cadillac Jack sighs: We will now begin a nationwide search to fill her vacated position.
POP THE CORK FOR JOURNAL – SCRIPPS WEDDING On Wednesday, April 1, 2015 the formal merger of Journal and E.W. Scripps begins. That’s when Journal radio stations become part of Scripps, plus they come under the voting control of the Scripps family. In March 2009 Journal stock closes at 36 cents. On Friday, March 27, 2015 Journal closes at $14.20 a share. $500 worth of Journal stock explodes to $200.000. That’s how millionaires are made.
VA MAYOR WHIPS OUT HIS VETO ON THE AIR Virginia’s Republican-controlled legislature passes technical amendments to its electoral districts. But the Washington Post reports that Virginia’s Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe uses his live radio show on iHeart Talk WRVA-1140 Richmond and 98.5 translator to astonish listeners when he whips out his veto pen live on the air. Governor McAuliffe brags: I don’t think these bills are constitutional. He also proclaims that he doesn’t like partisan redistricting.
TRIVIA QUESTION: What radio station gives Art Linkletter his start on the air? The answer appears below.
ENTERTAINMENT AND NEWS MILESTONES
•1950 ADOLF WIKLUND composer & conductor of Royal Swedish Opera dies at 70 on April 2nd. •1962 BILLY DEAN born on April 1st in Quincy, FL tells fans that his birthday is April 2nd so they won’t think he is an April Fool. •1974 GOLD hits record $197 an ounce on April 3rd in Paris. •1982 THE OAK RIDGE BOYS Bobbie Sue grabs #1 in Billboard Country on April 3rd. •1999 HELEN ABERSON Dumbo writer dies at 92 on April 3rd.•2006 RASCAL FLATTS’ album Me And My Gang releases on Lyric Street on April 4th.
EMAILS YES WE HAVE EMAIL
FRANK HALEY [KDAZ-730 news – ex KILT, KTRH, KVIL FM, KLIF-1190 & KOB-770 news] (Albuquerque, NM) Subject: Weatherman and science teacher, ‘Dr. George’ Fischbeck, dies at 92. George Fischbeck, who became a phenomenon in Albuquerque as a television science teacher and meteorologist in the 1960s and early ’70s, before being lured to Los Angeles where he continued as a top rated TV weatherman, died early Wednesday from natural causes.
WHERE DO YOU READ JRRR? Tell us how far away from Houston, TX that you read JRRR. Got a news tip or a question? Send your full Name, City, State and Country of residence to Rosekkkj@earthlink.net.
DUKE GILLELAND (Belton, TX) Subject: Job Well Done To KOKE FM!! Jim, This week we had a catastrophic event here locally when an oversize 18 wheeler hit a bridge on I-35 at Salado. The driver of the truck escaped injury but it sent 3 other drivers to the hospital and killed one other. NOTHING was ever said on our local political talk (squawk) radio about the accident. But KOKE FM 99.3 kept us posted on the traffic situation, advising drivers that the interstate was closed both ways and other routes to take getting home. JOB WELL DONE BY KOKE FM AND IT’S STAFF! We appreciate you! Duke & Cindy Gilleland; Belton, Texas
JAY WALKER [KJKK FM/KTSA/KTFM FM/CBS Radio/Jay Walker Productions] (Dallas-McKinney, TX) Subject: Interesting observations recently. True enough Jim. Last couple of nights I’ve been listening to 1550 which use to be the home of WOKJ Jackson MS. They’ve been off the air for years. But now there’s a station playing R&B and Gospel just like they did… Strange… Heard an oldies stations at 1290 playing 50’s-60′ pus a number of the old Class B 5k/1k on the high end below 1600 playing English music. Sure would be nice to hear music regularly on the band again. Now if we could only get Ty Tyler to put music back on 1520 KOMA… Take care. Jay
TRIVIA ANSWER: On March 27, 1928 KGB-1360 San Diego, CA goes on the air with call letters KFBC as the oldest continuing radio station in the San Diego market. Pickwick Broadcasting buys KFBC and installs G)eorge B)owles as Vice President and Manager. KFBC call letters change to reflect his name as KGB. In 1934, Art Linkletter gets his start in radio on KGB as announcer and Program Director. For 25 years Art Linkletter hosts House Party on CBS radio and TV. For 19 years he hosts People Are Funny on NBC radio and TV.
LARRY TODD [former KHFI TV anchor] (Austin, TX) Subject: KVUE TV. Hi Jim You are really a night owl. Great to hear from you. a couple corrections. Our TV side was KHFI TV…channel 42. It was never kvue…today it is KXAN…still an NBC outlet. Charles Stewart and I did the news. Bill Richardson on weather and Mel butchered the sports. (not really…he was great.) remember Cal (Druxman) as a fine person…always relaxed and candid…honest. We had John Bounder for radio and I just can’t remember the other news hounds. Dave Jarrott worked there as a DJ about that time. YOU take care… LT
CRAIG BEAN [Texas Association of Broadcasters, Previous KVUE-TV, KCEN-TV, KTEM Radio] (Austin, TX)Subject: KVUE TV CH 42. Lynn (Woolley) is correct. I worked at KVUE-TV for 30 years, since they signed on as Channel 24 and as an ABC affiliate. KBVO signed on as the Independent until they took CBS from KTBC. I’m not sure if it was at the time FOX bought KTBC, but CBS wanted a full clearance station in Austin. Lynn is also correct about KHFI changing from 42 to 36, opening the channel 42 allocation for KBVO. KBVO changed call sign to KEYE to mirror the CBS “EYE.” Craig
DAN RATHER (October 31, 1931 – p) An intellectual snob is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of The Lone Ranger.
Jim Rose and Suzie
Houston, Texas – Laus Deo
“Bewitch me, darling.”
“I’ll bewitch you in a minute. I’m busy.”
They can keep me in prison
but they can’t keep my face from breaking out.
Back when we had the million-seller Tennessee Birdwalk
there were only a million people in the world.
In an old theater that had mice, Misty said, “Down-on-their-luck show mice.”
SONG. “They tried to sell us egg foo young.”
COUNTRY SONG. “Cranky, I’m Cranky for feeling so lonely.”
WARNING: Bears can go 35 mph… Faster if they’re in a car.
There’s a fly in here! I thought this was a No-Fly Zone!
It’s sunny, beautiful. and in the 50s here in Florida.
Makes me feel almost alive!
Our car only makes left turns. I’m never gone long.
HEARD ON THE ARK: “All hens on deck!”
EXCITEMENT IN A SENIOR COMMUNITY… The unexpected pregnancy.
MY NEW INVENTION… The Suppository Gun.
MY SELF-HELP BOOKS… “The Power of Positive Whining.
“Build a Mechanical Squirrel in Your Garage.”
THE LIMO. Misty and I once bought a raggedy old limousine for $90.
We needed transportation and would rather look eccentric than poor.
To add to the effect, we colored it powder blue with house paint and a brush.
At a gas station, two tough guys said they knew the car
and we owed them big money. We’d never been there before in our life!
I floored it and sped away at four miles an hour.
TO A HECKLER: “Why don’t you get a toupee with a brain in it?
A friend said, “I bet you never have a dull moment at your house.”
I said, “I’m having one right now.”
At Christmas, our phone never stops ringing!
It’s those four calling birds!
My dad had a mole on his nose. He had it tattooed to look like a fly.
I’m getting my elbows pierced
so I can wear cuff links with a short-sleeved shirt.
Aunt Bess could jump 3 feet straight up without bending her knees.
My dad talked to himself a lot. Nobody knew it because he was a ventriloquist.
A cashier demanded that I prove I’m NOT eligible for a senior discount.
On Thanksgiving, I enjoy catching squirrels and dressing them up as Pilgrims.
No more chicken for me. The feet get caught in my throat.
Misty said, “My hair looks like a drowned rat.”
I said, “No. It looks like a nice rat.” She laughed.
I’m heading for the roundhouse. They can’t corner me there.
Simon Lescart woke up on his last day,
plugged in the coffee maker,
and sat down at the computer to check his email.
There was the usual spam and forwarded jokes,
which he deleted without reading.
The sixth message subject line read “Final Notice”,
and the sender was an acronym, “T.P.T.B.”
He started to dump it as spam, but for some reason he clicked it open.
The message was this: “NOTICE OF EXPIRATION.
“Dear Mr. Lescart,
“This is an automatic reminder that your life expires at midnight tonight.
Please do not try to reply to this email.
Have a nice day.
Very truly yours,
The Powers That Be.”
Simon tried to reply anyway,
but his email bounced back from the “unknown recipient”.
He knew it must be a stupid joke,
but he couldn’t stop thinking about it
as he fought the city traffic on his way to work.
What if this really was his last day?
He’d often heard the old saying,
“You should live every day as if it were your last.”
What should a person do on his last day, anyway?
Get drunk? Smell some flowers? Confess his sins? What?
He didn’t have much of a family to visit,
just a brother up in Akron and an ex-wife in Atlanta.
They hadn’t spoken in years.
He couldn’t think of any old sins offhand.
Maybe he should commit some?
He knew that the weird email was a fraud,
but he decided not to go to work today, just in case.
He pulled off at an exit and got back on the expressway,
going the other way, toward the ocean.
This is nuts, he thought.
He couldn’t think of anything really important to do,
befitting a persons last day on the planet,
so he just sat on the beach for most of the day and drank a few beers.
He felt a little nervous, like a high school truant,
but he also felt something else he couldn’t define. Was it freedom?
He had some guilt too, for wasting the day looking at the ocean.
Someone sat down beside him.
The man was obviously homeless,
in his ragged black suit and dirty torn sneakers.
The man said, “Are you okay, friend? You look kinda lost.”
Simon said, “That’s an odd word… ‘Friend’.
Now that you mention it, I guess I don’t have any of those.
Just a bunch of acquaintances.”
“Maybe you never really tried”, said the man.
“I’ve been pretty busy”, said Simon.
“You must have accomplished great things, being so busy”, the man said.
“No great things. Just keeping even. Paying the bills”, said Simon.
“Do you think you have any great things in you”, asked the man?
Simon said, “Maybe. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.
If I had the time I’d do things differently.”
That’s when the chest pain struck and the world faded to black.
He heard voices. “What Happened?” “Get back!”
He was being carried.
Then a blinding light above. People working over him.
“We’re losing him! CLEAR!”
Then a huge shock and the world was gone again.
The smiling nurse said, “Welcome back. You’ve had quite a day.”
“What time is it”, he asked?
“Almost midnight”, she said.
“I have to call my brother”, he insisted.
“We’ll contact him for you. You can talk to him in a few days.”
“I wish I HAD a few days”, he said!
A cell phone rang.
“That sounds like mine”, he said. “Where is it?”
“It’s beside your bed, but you need to rest.”
He reached for it, but she stopped him.
“I’ll answer it for you”, she said. “Lie back down!”
She said, “It’s just a text message.”
“What does it say?”, he groaned.
The letters on the cell phone screen said this:
People who tell us that it’s a pagan holiday,
just because it’s near the winter solstice,
may not realize what an intrusion that is upon our enjoyment.
We can each bring our own thoughts to the season,
and make it our personal non-pagan celebration.
It’s in the spirit of the beholder.
It’s hard to work up the spirit here in Florida,
but we give it a shot every year.
Misty decorates a tree,
and puts Christmas stuff all over the place.
We listen to Christmas music with the air conditioning on
and with palm trees lurking in the yard.
Television doesn’t help, with reports of all night sales,
talking heads urging us to be good consumers,
stranded travelers sleeping in airports,
and carolers singing “Happy Honda Days”.
I toss up futile prayers for snow here in the subtropics,
but this is the time of year
when we just get a cheap imitation of early autumn.
A couple of trees around here get a touch of red,
and I go look at them.
I get sentimental about Christmas,
probably because I had real Christmasy holidays years ago,
with folks who are no longer with us,
and my childish subconscious thinks it will happen again.
I think next year I’ll write a letter to Santa,
and ask him for one more snowfall in Buffalo,
where the night is silent, the homes are warm,
and Christmas is strong in the air.
It was the day before Christmas.
We were road tired and traveling westward through Illinois or Iowa…
on our way to another show somewhere.
We tried to cheer each other up,
and said we’d celebrate our Christmas at a later date.
The countryside looked like a Christmas card
through the windshield of our motor home.
Fine dusty snow was starting to whirl around.
and the Interstate Highway was just about deserted.
It began snowing harder.
We needed a place to pull in for the night,
but we hadn’t seen anything open for miles.
We started to get worried.
It was getting dark,
and the wind was blowing the snow into drifts.
We pulled off at the next exit,
but there was no sign of life except for an old barn.
There was a wooden sign over the door,
and Christmas lights were on inside.
It turned out to be a little store
with a few groceries, and some antiques for sale in the back.
The owner took us to a little room where they kept boots and snow shovels.
That’s where we plugged in our electric line.
Misty made a good deal…
One night, two dollars.
I dragged our small artificial Christmas tree out of the trunk.
She had it trimmed and lit in about ten minutes.
We’d been on a long hard tour
and we didn’t have any presents for each other,
so we looked around at the antiques and things in the store.
We picked out a few gifts,
but we didn’t have any way to gift wrap them.
Two or three at a time people from the town came into the store,
stomping the snow off their shoes
and saying “Merry Christmas” to each other.
They were smiling and friendly
and offered to take our gifts back to their homes and wrap them for us.
When they came back a while later our presents looked beautiful.
They brought along some cookies and eggnog,
and we had a little party with these unusual strangers.
We wanted to cancel all our future bookings and live here.
In the morning we woke up to snow covered cornfields
and a sparkling forest of winter trees.
An old rusty plow and a wagon
were half buried in the snow outside our window..
It was a perfect Christmas.
We don’t even know the name of the town,
or which state it’s in.
And we haven’t been able to find it on any map.
We just think of it as our Christmas Town.
Maybe it’s in the twilight zone.
By the time you read this it will not be current,
but I’m writing at the kitchen table on Christmas morning.
It’s a little chilly and the steam is swirling up from my coffee cup.
Carolers are singing softly and there are church bells.
I haven’t opened the curtains yet
but judging by the grayish light seeping through, it’s a winter day.
I haven’t heard any snow shovels, but it’s still early.
I think I’ll plug in the tree lights.
Even through the closed curtains
snow is visible in the corners of the windows.
Holly and candles add color to the room
and the silhouette of a Christmas wreath
can be seen at the front window.
As little as a couple of inches of overnight snowfall
can blow into deep white drifts,
so I feel around under the bed for my high top boots.
The ones with the knife pocket.
And I’d better get out my blue flannel shirt.
The checkered one.
That always feels good and warm on a winter’s morning
when the snow is squeaky cold.
We’d better hurry.
We’re due at Alan and Vivian’s house for Christmas dinner.
Funny, I can’t seem to find my high-tops,
or the flannel shirt,
or even my sheepskin mittens and earmuffs.
Grandma probably put them away somewhere.
I’ll ask her.
No, that’s right, I can’t ask her.
She’s not here. She’s been gone a long time.
Sometimes, especially at Christmas, I forget that.
I wonder what ever happened to those old winter clothes of mine.
Seems like I had ’em just the other day.
Or was it 20 years ago?
Got to go now, we’re late for dinner.
Don’t forget to turn off the tree lights and the air conditioner.
And, oh yes, the stereo Christmas music.
As I step out the door, Christmas presents under each arm,
the white glare makes my eyes water.
It could be snow. It really could!
But I feel the coral rock under my feet
as I step down from our motor home
and I hear the waves slapping against the shore a few feet to my left.
I wonder if they’re having snow up home.
Christmas has been my favorite holiday my whole life,
and I want to share it with you.
You don’t have to buy me anything.
Join me in toasting old Saint Nicholas,
if he will fit in our toaster. (Haha. I get jolly at Christmas.)
Cry with me at the ending of “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
Let’s boo and hiss together at Old Mr. Potter.
We’ll get sentimental listening to the Christmas carols at Walmart.
What time is Charlie Brown on?
Let’s all pray for snow even if we’re in Florida.
Enjoy new times with old friends.
If we don’t have any friends, let’s make some.
Find somebody who looks down in the dumps,
give them a big smile, and toss them a “Merry Christmas”.
If they just look at you funny and walk away, so what?
There are other people waiting to be annoyed with our Christmas glee.
Think about your home town, and try to recall the good times.
I think about Buffalo this time of year.
Not necessarily the real Buffalo, but the one that only I remember.
That’s where I got all my Christmas spirit to begin with,
shopping downtown… a lost art, and trimming the scotch pine
with people we loved more than we knew at the time.
I laugh and cry a lot as Christmas approaches.
I even cry at commercials.
I laugh easily at funny remarks, especially mine.
It’s embarrassing but I don’t much care.
Ten minutes after the joke has slipped into the past
I think about it and start laughing again.
Everybody tries not to notice,
and the more I try to stifle it, the more I laugh.
Tears come out of my eyes.
Christmas makes me weak.
So, whatever your religion or non-religion is, Merry Dang Christmas!
You don’t have to go to church if you don’t want to.
I probably won’t, but I might watch Midnight Mass on television,
and I’m not even Catholic.
It’s all part of the pageantry that is my holiday,
and I plan to eat too much, mellow out, and enjoy the feeling.
Call me on your holiday and I’ll join you,
What I’m saying to you right now is this:
“Merry Christmas to all good people.”
A long time ago Misty and I took a holiday season job in a Miami
department store in a poor neighborhood.
She was the photographer who snapped and sold the pictures of the
children on Santa’s lap. I was Santa.
The Santa suit and the whiskers were hot,
but it was an unforgettable experience.
Little poor kids would tell me their dreams,
which I knew could not come true for them, at least this year,
but they had faith in Santa,
and even a “maybe” from me made their eyes sparkle.
Somehow, I felt guilty.
One little boy asked me how come Santa Claus is white.
I told him I hoped he wouldn’t hold that against me,
and he assured me he wouldn’t.
There were always a few raggedy strays
wandering around the toy department,
giggling and touching all the magical things
that would soon belong to someone else.
Some of them laughed and pointed at me, but never came too close.
Others showed off to their pals by climbing right up on my lap,
as if they weren’t scared at all.
One little girl, dressed in filthy rags, was too small to climb up on my knee,
so I lifted her up. She weighed nothing.
I wondered if she was old enough to talk, as she just smiled at me.
Obviously, she was alone and uncared-for.
I asked her where her mommy and daddy were and she said, “Drunk”.
Then she confessed her love for me.
I asked her what she really wanted most for Christmas,
and she lisped, “New shoes”.
She wasn’t wearing any this winter.
“Merry Christmas! Ho-Ho -Ho”, I choked,
as she climbed down to be replaced by the next in line.
When business tapered off I searched the whole store for the little girl,
to buy her a pair of new shoes, but I was too late.
She had disappeared and I never saw her again,
except in my mind every Christmas.