Dean MorrisseyA Christmas memory contributed by Carol's husband, Bob
For the first 10 years of my life I lived in the Hungarian section of Delray in Southwest Detroit. Same area Carol hung out in except the Hungarian side of Dearborn St. We never met because I was 8 years old and she was only 2.
My family lived with my grandparents who spoke only Hungarian, so I learned how to speak it. In 1947 the Hungarian Catholic church we belonged to put together a Christmas play, recreating the birth of Christ. They picked several kids to put on costumes to play Mary, Joseph and the shepherds. We didn't do it on a stage, it was much better than that. We went out in the community to perform it door to door in people's living rooms, in the Hungarian language. I got to be a shepherd in the play because I spoke Hungarian.
We went from house to house for 5 evenings, performing the play. When we were done the people slipped money to the priest and nun for the church. They also tipped us kids with candy, fruit and MONEY!!! All evening we begged the priest to take us to a bar to perform the play because we kids knew the drunks would be quite generous. They always were on Halloween. He eventually gave in and bar-bound we were.
We finished the play in our first bar and it started raining money. People threw it at us from everywhere. Gold mine! To hell with the candy and fruit. WE ENDED UP GOING TO 5 BARS! (oh, excuse me Fr. Bali for saying hell!)
The most memorable night of the 5 nights we did this was the night I had to pee. It was dark, cold and windy and we had on long shepherd's robes. I peed all over myself and had to finish the whole night smelling like I really did sleep in a manger. I must say, I did put on an academy award perfomance.