Paul Barada’s recent column about his Christmas traditions was as always enjoyable and brought back to me a memory I have treasured for a long time. I was quite young and we had just moved to our new home at 13th and Main. It was around 1940 and I was still sure of Santa Claus and his yearly visit. We had decorated as many did at the time. We had a cardboard Santa with a Coke in his hand courtesy the local bottling plant. We also had around two or three strings of the old style screw in lights strung along the front railing of our porch. Our Christmas tree had been put up and decorated and the Ward’s, Abernathy’s Newhouse and Caldwell relatives were all there. I was antsy because it was Christmas Eve and I had visions of Santa and presents on my mind.
Dad had been rather antsy himself for some reason and after supper and some conversation, a lot of it behind my back, it was decided Uncle Charlie Caldwell, who was ill and in the hospital at 5th and Main, sure would like to see me. Frankly, I really would rather stay and check things out, but being the well mannered young man that I was, and being pushed into it, I went along with the story. The weather was horrible much worse than even the recent snow storm. At this time, the city did not plow the streets so they were basically smashed down snow and ice under that. The only thing the city did do was sand the intersections.
Aunt Hattie Caldwell, Uncle Charlie’s wife, a couple of her children and her brother in law took me and off we went. I should have seen something was up when neither Mom or Dad went with us, but I had other things on my mind. We went to the hospital on Main and remained there way too long for me. Finally, we said our good byes and got in the car to head home. Only we didn’t head directly home we had to check out other decorations in town preferably away from our home. Up on Perkins Street to 11th then over to Morgan then to Park Boulevard back to 14th street and then back to Main. This intersection had a slight incline and the snow was deep as we had been almost stuck several times in our trip around the neighborhood. We got stuck and stuck well. The men got out and tried to push the ladies were happy to remain the car and me too young to be of help.