Thursday, December 21, 2006

Gerald’s Christmas Past

"Madonna with Christ" by Nebojsa Duranovic of Yugoslavia
Image Copyright © by Nebojsa Duranovic

Dear Posters:

As I read your memories of past Christmases, I recall many of my Christmases. For Christmas I was blessed with a shirt or a pair of pants. Occasionally, I would receive a shirt and a pair of pants.

My father would hang up the stockings. He would place in each stocking – an orange, an apple, some unshelled nuts, and some rock candy. Going to the stocking was very exciting.

In our home I remember that we had no hot and cold running water. We would take a bath after the water was boiled on the stove and mixed with the cold water. On schooldays I would wash up in cold water.

Since I was born in 1939, we faced WW II with the rationing of goods. We had a water tank put into our home when I was about twelve or thirteen. We had to continuous light the pilot light for hot water and if you forgot to light the pilot light, you would only have cold water for washing up.

We had a coal furnace and the coal would be delivered. It took years to replace the coal furnace. Coal was rationed during WW II. If you ran out of coal, it was too bad. Coal was placed in the furnace to last until about 1:00 am. Since my father was off to work early, he would put the coal into the furnace. My mother worked an evening shifted at an airplane plant. Since my father had poor vision, he did not serve in WW II. There was talk in early 1944 that he would be drafted on an as need basis.

My parents bought my pants with the idea that I would grow into them. The legs were longer and so the extra fabric was there to patch up the seat of the pants and the knees.

Shoes were also a size or two bigger so I could also grow into the shoes. Money was scarce. I recall that through the years I would wear out the soles so bad that I would put cardboard inside the shoes until my parents could afford to put on new soles and heels.

We never had much in our home but it did not matter because my father had a great sense of humor and we had ample laughter in our home.

Yes, those were the days. I did not realize that America had sniveling brats until I was older. Having to want is not always a bad idea. Same holds true for delayed gratification. Nazi America is a nation of spoiled, sniveling brats. Nazi Americans are also into immediate gratification. We are also a very selfish people. The wrath of God will someday be directly aimed at our nation and her evil ways.

I guess growing up with humility has prepared me for any bad times that awaits our devil incarnate nation.




DEN said...

Gerald, since it is a lot of trouble for you to do your own blog, I could not let your story go unpublished, Merry Christmas!!

Gerald said...

den, thank you and Merry Christmas to you and your posters!!!

Gerald said...

My wife has informed me that our son said he was listening to the radio and one of the guests made a prediction that we would not have a presidential election in 2008. Bush has the authority to declare martial law and cancel the election. I guess more people are starting to believe me.

Our son also said that when Bush II steps down, he will be replaced by Jeb, his brother. Please forgive me for the bad news so close to Christmas.

Yes, my fellow posters, Bush has not gone through all the trouble to gain unprecedented power only to relinquish it.

DEN said...

Gerald, big money runs this country and Bush is big money squared!

I hope you are wrong Gerald, I am hoping for change come January.

Maybe we can avoid a fascist takeover.

The battle of Good vs Evil continues.

Gerald said...

den, I would feel better if Bush wasn't such a completely deranged being. People with a psychiatric background seem to also be in agreement that Bush is a psycho. Plus, the Nazis control the Republican party; the Supreme Court is in Bush's hip pocket; and Hitler's clone controls the military.

Bush I was probably crying from joy at the knowledge that his demented son will be president until he has Jeb take his place.

There must be some kind of insanity taking hold of the Bush family members.

O'Reilly said...

Merry Christmas Gerald.

The story of your youth reminds me of my own father's story. He too grew up without much. Both of you had loving familes and learned to live by honorable and dignified values.

I agree with your opinion about the direction of our country. Nevertheless, I have never read a christmas story that contained these words:

I did not realize that America had sniveling brats until I was older. Having to want is not always a bad idea. Same holds true for delayed gratification. Nazi America is a nation of spoiled, sniveling brats. Nazi Americans are also into immediate gratification. We are also a very selfish people. The wrath of God will someday be directly aimed at our nation and her evil ways.

Thank you for all you do. Keep up the good work.


Micki said...

Gerald, thank you for your story. It's important to remind people what it was like during World War II for many families, especially now with the deranged decider in the WH telling us to "go shopping" as a means of doing our part.

You may be right about what's in our future, but as Yogi Berra said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

I noticed this in an AP story this a.m.: "No tengo futuro (I have no future)," Jeb Bush told Spanish-language reporters in Miami, when asked about any possible political ambitions after he steps down next month as governor of Florida (due to term limits).

Micki said...

U.S. Troops Turn Over Najaf to Iraqis

These grafs in the story are interesting...

About 1,500 police officers, soldiers and security personnel staged a parade around an infield of stubby brown grass, in festivities complete with warriors on horseback.

At one point, a small group of soldiers stepped forward with a live rabbit and tore it to pieces. The leader bit out the heart with a yell, then passed around the blood-soaked remains to his comrades, each of whom took a bite. The group also bit the heads off frogs, as some of those in the crowd held their noses from the stench.

Chewing on live animals is a traditional display of ferocity for elite troops in Iraq and was also observed by special units during Saddam Hussein's rule.

...and bush thinks he can change a culture! Of course, bush used to blow up frogs for fun and games -- maybe he still does, for all we know.

Gerald said...

Diane Rehm had an excellent guest on her 10:00 am show. Her name was Benis (sp)and she wrote a book titled, Challenging Empire. She opposes the Iraq war even from the beginning. She had her facts in order and she took on all questions.

DEN said...

Gerald, Phyllis Bennis is her name and she has written several books.

DEN said...

Phyllis Bennis at Amazon

Gerald said...

micki, one thing that I can never do is challenge any of Yogi Berra's immortal words. Let us hope that Jeb does not have a political future. We must always remain vigilant about the direction of our country.

O'Reilly, I can only post my thoughts and ideas of our country and the world at large. I wish that I could do more but I can only do what I can do.

For some strange reason I believe that there are people who read many of our posts and it is having a positive effect. That is one reason why McCain and Gingrich want to eliminate or muzzle the internet. I do not trust McCain. His five and one half years in a Vietnam prison camp has prepared him to be a Manchurin (sp) Candidate. I also believe that he is only borderline sane.

Gerald said...

den, thank you for the correct name and spelling. Phyllis was an excellent guest. What impressed me about her was her awareness of facts and information. She mentioned the sanctions after the first Iraq war that killed 500,000 children. Nazi America suffers fro a short memory syndrome. Plus, she said that whether 655,000 or 300,000 Iraqis have been killed are too many because this Iraq war is illegal by any standards.

I have opposed the Iraq war from the beginning because I looked to John Paul II for guidance. He said that the war was wrong and immoral. He is a person who lived under the Nazis in Poland and he survived the Communists. He had actual experiences of brutality at the front door.

O'Reilly said...

Den, I'm writing a brief Christmas story which I'd like to send to you. I was unable to find the post in which you told us where to direct submissions. Can you help? Thx.

DEN said...

The battle between Good and Evil rages on. Since the beginning when Satan was cast out of heaven, the battle has raged.

Two sides locked in continuous battle over the citizens of the Earth.

We are given a choice between which side to be on. Bush chose the dark side, and it is there with his fellow Skull and Bonesmen he resides.

The entire Bush family is a product of the Devil and as such should be regarded as the embodiment of Evil that must be overcome by Good.

To lose this battle is to lose the World.

It is not hard to be on the side of Good, you do not have to be part of any religion, just believe in the value of humanity and the goodness and generosity it can bring, believe in the structure of Nature and it's value and importance in humanities' survival.

Thats all, just value and respect life in all forms, a true treasure to behold, beyond monetary value.

Good can overcome Evil, but not without our help.

©arol said...

Gerald, I can't imagine not having a hot water heater. I know early in my life it had to be lit, then my dad got a new-fangled gadget with a button on the wall in the kitchen that turned it on when we needed hot water. Next we had a gas water heater that did it all itself.

I do remember our old coal furnace and the delivery of coal thru a shoot to the bin in the basement. It was quite a big deal the year my dad had a gas furnace installed. He tore out the coal bin and tiled and painted the basement.

Thanks for telling us your story.

©arol said...

Shoot? Maybe that's wrong. Maybe it was a chute? Micki, I'm sure you'll know.

DEN said...

O'Reilly, e-mail me here:

O'Reilly said...

Thanks Den. Will post needs a wee bit more work but at the moment I'm off to run some errands at the mall before the crowds hit. bbl

Gerald said...

carol, thank you for sharing the information! As you can remember, those were quite the days. Some adversity in life is good but hopefully not for an entire lifetime. That is one reason I do not want people to experience ongoing suffering with no light at the end of the tunnel.

Gerald said...

carol, you are right! When in doubt ask micki! I have had her answer some questions in the past.

David B. Benson said...

Wow! First the bears in Siberia start their hibernation very late. Now bears in Spain don't even hibernate...

Gerald said...

Phyllis Bennis also mentioned that at the start of the Iraq war there were six families of soldiers who opposed the war. Now there are 3,500 families of soldiers who oppose the war. Groups are expanding everyday. There is even a group of Iraq war veterans who oppose the war.

Posters, if you believe anything in your life, please believe that this war is a wrong and an immoral war. Bush's invasion into Iraq and what has transpired in Iraq makes him out to be a mass murderer and a war criminal.

Micki said...


Oh, the war in Iraq is frightful,
To bush it's so delightful,
Trained liars are on the go,
Tony Snow, Tony Snow, Tony Snow!

It doesn't show signs of stoppin',
The bombs are still a-poppin,
Dick is making lots of dough,
Tony Snow, Tony Snow, Tony Snow!

When Laura tells George good night,
Troops are going out in the storm,
As bush hugs his pillow real tight,
His twins are cozy and warm,

More troops are quickly dyin',
And, my dear, he's still a-lyin',
But as long as the lies do flow,
Tony Snow, Tony Snow, Tony Snow!


Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we've no place to go,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

It doesn't show signs of stopping,
And I brought some corn for popping;
The lights are turned way down low,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

When we finally say good night,
How I'll hate going out in the storm;
But if you really hold me tight,
All the way home I'll be warm.

The fire is slowly dying,
And, my dear, we're still good-bye-ing,
But as long as you love me so.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

I'd better hop to my intended chores. Family is arriving tomorrow. O'Reilly, I'm looking forward to your story! Den, yours, too! Carol, it's chute -- but you know that! I know you do! Dr. B, I wish you'd tell us a story. I bet you have some good ones! Come on!

We had a BIG storm again last night! More lightning that I've ever experienced! (Well, that I remember.) Hail. Wind. Thunder. Rain.

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Happy Hannukah! Happy Whatever you Celebrate! Peace! Happiness! Good health!

Micki said...

Oh, and about a story?

David B. Benson said...

Tell me a story --- Well, ok.


It was a dark and stormy night in the Ozarks. We were all huddled around the campfire when one said "John, tell us a story!" So John said

"It was a dark and stormy night in the Ozarks. We were all huddled around the campfire when one said 'John, tell us a story!' So John said ...

º¿carol said...

Media Follies 2006!
The year's most overhyped and underreported stories

{ò,ó}arol said...

Yeah, right.

Gates, in Iraq, Hears Support for More Troops
New York Times - 2 hours ago
By DAVID S. CLOUD. BAGHDAD, Iraq Dec 21 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, talking to enlisted soldiers on his second day in Iraq, heard broad support today for a proposal to send more American forces to Iraq, an idea that has emerged as a leading ...blah, blah, blah, blah..............

Micki said...

So I take it, it was a moonless night? Did John have a flashlight? Moonless nights are DARK! Was the group near a lake? Were there fragrant pines? Was anyone afraid of the dark? Or was John by himself? Did he only imagine that he was in a group? Did John get swallowed up in the darkness? Were there barking dogs in the distance? Cries of owls? Did John's blood flood through his veins with fear? Or what? Did they discuss global warming? We need more details.

Micki said...

Carol from your link to Geov Parrish's article: This stands out, IMO

The Year's Most Underreported Stories

Siberia's permafrost is melting: Why is this an important story? Because Arctic permafrost, which in Siberia covers endless miles, contains massive amounts of methane. The melting soil releases the methane into the air, where it is now expected to massively and irrevocably accelerate global warming. It's a process that has already begun, but just. This massive climate bomb literally has the potential to end civilization. Its discovery should have not only been the year's top story, but an impetus for all humanity to unite in a common struggle for survival. Maybe in 2007. Or 2009, when someone who believes in science occupies the White House.

DEN said...

Stands out like a hooker in church.

DEN said...

Gnawing the heads off small animals?

Better forget the oil!

David B. Benson said...

Micki --- I told you the story exactly as my mother told it to me as we were sitting around the campfire one dark and stormy night ...

David B. Benson said...

Actually, I just remembered the traditional version:

It was a dark and stormy night in the Ozarks, a night fit nary for man nor beast. We were all sitting around the campfire when one said ...

But having done this, but not in the Ozarks, huddling around the campfire, spitting at me from the rain, is what I used to do. Sitting is for fit nights...

Micki said...

It had been a dark and stormy night but as dawn broke, the Eastern sky lit up with a blinding brilliance indicating that the heavens had cleared, and the spitting rain had ceased, and later there would be a multicolored prism arching over the landscape beyond our pile of coals from last night's campfire, and Snoopy was huddled at his master's feet dreaming up a new way to plagiarize Edward Bulwer-Lytton.

Suddenly a shot rang out and the spitting rain began again.

Micki said...

Gag, Den. Yes. Fergitabouttheoil! We need alternatives!

David B. Benson said...

Micki --- Thanks. I thought it had a nineteenth century tone...

Jeanne said...

Thank you Gerald for your Christmas story. I don't know how the greatest generation continued to hope that things would be better. I can only guess that it had to do with the love they felt in the families and the neighborhoods. As many have said...everybody was poor. We didn't know any better. I think TV has ruined many a young people not for its violence but its constant consumer barrage. You can't be poor anymore without the constant desire to be rich. You want what you see everybody has. And as Gerald has pointed want it now.

Jeanne said...

Winter has finally arrived in MN. Slippery roads. 2 inches of snow. Guess who shoveled. The kids across the street played in the snow while I shoveled. The three year old was having a blast with his older brothers.

º¿carol said...

Jeanne, don't fall again!!!

David B. Benson said...

Gerald --- Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Coal furnaces and too-big shoes and too-long pants. You bet.

Micki said...

Leave it to Carol to remember your fall from last winter, Jeanne! Isn't it great that we're here still, this winter, talking with each other?

But, yeah, don't knock your noggin' again. I remember when you and Harry commiserated (sp?) about injuries and recovery. At least, you weren't shot by the Vice President of the United States of America.

Keep the shovel handy.

Micki said...

Earlier this month, Carol told us about the legislative bill proposed to let blind people hunt in Texas. Well! Beer drinkers! If you're vision-impaired, hope that this comes your way soon....

In the December 22 issue of THE WEEK, it states, in the "Good week for" section that it's a good week for:

BLIND DRUNKS, after a leading German brewery announced it will from now on produce beer bottles labeled in Braille. Activists for the vision-impaired welcomed the news. "you often have no idea what's about to go into your mouth," explained activist Joanna Zimmer.

Jeanne said...

Don't think I wasn't thinking about the old war injury from last year when I was out today shoveling the driveway. It was slippery.

Jeanne said...

So will blind drunks peel the labels off?

Gerald said...

Jeanne, I personally believe that the greatest generation survived through close family ties. I also believe that they felt our country stood for something great. Now we are a nation divided by family differences, wedge issues, corporate fraud, and blatant government lies.

David B. Benson, there was not the money for changing of the clothes on a regular basis. Little things meant a lot.

Possessions do make us happy. The sharing of love is more apt to make us happy.