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Clinch Valley Times
St. Paul , Virginia
December 19, 2013     Clinch Valley Times
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December 19, 2013

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Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES St. Paul, Va. Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 Of shoes..and ships..and sealing wax.. by Ann Gregory Christmases past Reprinted from Dec. 1, 2011 No, this is not to be a discussion about Charles Dickens and his wonderful ghosts who visited Scrooge in his dreams on Christmas Eve (the spirits of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas to Come--isn't that what they were called?) I read Jerry Couch's Christmas article when it arrived at my desk on Monday, and set my mind on the path of all kinds of Christmas memories. So I thought I might follow along to see where it leads. (First, I must take a few minutes to express my thanks to Jerry Couch publicly. The historical articles he's written and sent to us every week for the last few month have proved to be incredibly popular. Jerryhas good files--and evidently a perfect memory--so his columns are fdled with detail which make them even more interesting. His periodic lectures on area history are equally as fascinating--the last one I attended went on for most of an afternoon, as he' carefully drew his audience into the program-----encouraging them to share their own families' stories. For most of them, Jerry could provide the background. Fun to hearmand mind- boggling'to consider the details he has at his fingertips. Thanks, Jerry, for our history you share with us so freely!) I emailed Jerry that his comments this week made me feel old, since he talked about a memorable child- hood Christmas he remembers---I was almost out of college at the time, but his story reminded me that I'd also had a number of wonderful childhood Christmas memories. The Christmas when I was six years old is one I remember clearly. Back in those days, children weren't given every toy they'd ever seen or thought to ask for-- Santa Claus brought one present. Period. Mothers and Fathers gave presents to their children, too, but they were not the " main" present--that one was left to Santa to bring. On that' particular Christ-mas, there were two things I" wanted, but I knew I had to decide on one of them. Did I want a Betsy Wetsy Doll (remember her--she predat- ed Chatty Cathy and Barbie by a number of years)----or would I rather have a REAL electric stove? It was small about 12 inches wide--but it really cooked things, both in its tiny oven and on its little burners. I thought and thought, but could come to no decision, so when I wrote to Santa Claus, I told him to choose which one to bring--that I would be happy with either one. Santa was particu-larly kind that year--I received both the doll and the stove, and loved them both. I never did burn myself on the stove, but I burned other things. Didn't set anything on fire, though, so the stove was a success! A bittersweet Christmas memory happened when I was eight years old. That year, Storybook Dolls were the rage. They were small dolls--maybe six inches tall, and they were dressed as storybook characters: Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and Jill, Snow White, Alice in Wonderland--you get the idea. They came in distinctive polka-dotted boxes, and were beau- tifully dressed. Every little girl who saw these dolls and understood the word "collection"put the two together and a fad was born. I was no different, so for that Christmas, I asked Santa Claus for Storybook Dolls. Some time before Christmas, I was talking to my moth= er in her room, and was looking at her when she opened the closet door to get something. I couldn't help seeing two boxes covered with polka-dots. Without saying a word, I saw my Santa Claus fantasy collapse. I never did tell my mother that I saw those polka-dotted boxes. I may have told you this before: one year just days before Christmas, snow, which had fallen in Central Kentucky for a couple of days, had stopped, but the weather was extremely cold in Lexington. The phone rang (our phone number was 5460---h0w do I remem- ber that?), my mother answered, and a neighbor told her to get the three of us wrapped up and outdoors quickly. It was magic--the show being put on by the Aurora BorealiS was absolutely spectacular! The Northern Lights didn't hang around for long, but the sight was memorable, to say the least. After all, I still remember it, and that was decades ago! Years later, as a teenager (just barely--I think we were .13) living in Paintsville, Kentucky, my good friend Martha Ann and I, t-died with the notion of hope chests, decided to give each other demitasse spoons for Christmas every year. Back in those days, when people could still afford to buy sterling silver flatware, our mothers had, at some point, chosen silver patterns for each of us. My grandmother had been giving me silver for Christmas and birthdays for years, and I guess hers had, too. Anyway, we exchanged silver demitasse spoons--really adorable. I still have mine, of course, and I even have a demitasse coffee set-,--coffee pot, demitasse-sized cups and saucers, and even a small matching tiered plate for petits fours. Given all that ele- gance, do you suppose I've ever served demitasse to dinner guests following the meal? Of course not. But I have the "tools," in case I need then. (I've often won- dered if Martha Ann has ever used her demitasse spoons! I'll have to ask.) None of those Christmases compare with the ones we've had since our children were born. I remember the year that we were decorating the Christmas tree. My parents had come over to watch, since Peyton was a tiny toddler and it was the first time she could participate in Christmas preparations. We were kept busy by two-and- " a-half year old David, who was, I think, trying to climb the Christmas tree, when we heard a squawk, and saw two chubby pink-clad legs waving from the top of a large box. She'd tried to reach in to get some orna- ments, and went in, head f'n'st, with only her little legs giving us a clue as to where she was. What good old days those were. Christmas wouldn't be such a joyful season if we didn't have all our mem- ories of Christmases past! Family search gives00 long-sought answer to 17-year mystery To the Editor: A great big thank you goes to Micheal Dale of Atlanta, GA and his Dad of Wise for the wonderful fred of the Dale Cemetery. I am the 4th great-grand- daughter of Patrick Porter. After the Dunmore War was over my grandfather had a long walk home ahead of him. When the war was going on Chief John Logan of the Mingo tribe and Patrick Porter had become friends. Logan had a little Indian boy that was an orphan. The Chief asked my grandfather to take him home, to which he answered no, fearing he may be killed if caught with the boy. Later the boy caught up with Patrick with a note in his pocket which read, I have told the Mingo tribe LETTERS TO THE EDITOR the boy drowned in de river. So you are sae. Patrick raised the little bdy as his own. For 17 years-I tried to fred more of this story. Micheal Dale arid his father found the grave in Wise while four wheel- ing. '-' I have talked to Micheal and he plans a spriffg meeting for the Dales afoul Porters for a clean up at cemetery. Also a Porter ReuniOn in July 2014 will bring s all together. That note is m a Milwaukee, Wisconsin museum. Carroll Dale, tlqe famous football player, qs direct from Arter Dale. My grandfather gave the boy the name Arter. He was presbnt at the partial clefih # up. Mary Ann Post 2, St. Paul :' ,L Readers are invited to write letters on matters of gen- eral interest to the public. Letters do not necessaril reflect the philosophy or editorial policy of this newspa- per, which reserves the right to edit letters. The ClinCh Valley Times will not print unsigned letters. ,, .1 Coffee time at library invites senior citizens r 1 Every Wednesday at 10 a.m. the J. Fred Matthe,s Memorial Library will host Coffee Time for all area sefl- ior citizens. ' Seniors are invited to stop by the library from 10-11 a.m. and have a cup of coffee, tea, cider or hot chocolate and light refreshments. ' Visit with your friends, talk about the news going on n the area, read the local newspapers or browse through tile library's magazine selections. Make plans to come by the library each Wednesday for coffee and conversation. For more information contact the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library at 276-762'9702. ' '  i* WINDOW WIN- NERS Appalachian Graphics, at right, was the second place winner in the 2013 Business W i n d o w Decorating Contest with a prize of $35.00. The 2013 Business Window Decorating Contest was judged on Saturday, December At cen- ter left is one of two decorated windows that earned first place honors for Big M Stores. The prize awarded was $50.00. Carter Bank & Trust won third place in the Window Decorating Contest with a prize of $25.00. Other businesses who participated and some honorable mentions are as follows: Jerry's Flowers, Briar Wood Primitives, C.R. Pate, Jessica's Little Feet Dance Studio and Giovanni's. CVTimes DEADLINES: EDITORIAL copy (anniversaries, birthdays,weddings, calendar items, press releases, etc.) 4 p.m. Monday ADVERTISING Classified and display] 12 noon Tuesday i Clmch i i I Valley i Times i VIROINIA PRESS ASS.IAT1oN i i: Published weekly in St. Patti,! i. VA 24283, by the CLINCH i VALLEY PUBLISHING CO, i INC. i TI Clindl Valley Times sem i the four-county area of Wis, i Russell, DickeBso arid t. i i with offices and plant located in i the CLINCH VALLEY TIMES i i building, 16541 Russell StreW. :i i Periodicals tastage is paidat tile i i Post Office in St. Paul, VA 24283. Alle Gregory Fxli/Adv. i Susm Trent AdvJGraphic i i ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS: i In advance: $28.50 in Wise an i Russet counties; S3o,oo ih' other 24-zip eodes; elscwhea-. $32.$0. POMASTER: send add oh. to: cti., wi, Times, P.O Box g17. St. Paal VA 24283 I SINGLE COPY * 50e i Classified Advertising: Mini- mum e, hargn, $6.00 f up to words, in advance; 25 per wo after 20 words. Display Advextd ising mtcs on application. i Periodicals ptablication !, i Post ISN: 76?600