Christmas – 1973

Dear Frozen Friends of the North:

Greeting from the land its nice to be in during a fuel shortage, or at least you would think so: (30 degrees last night).

I shall open this annual edition of the Amazing Fables from the Deep South by quoting my next door neighbor: ” … and we would like to your episode the other day with Mandy (the dog) was priceless, it kept us in stitches for half an hour … really it was better than a TV show”.

That really sums up this year, folks, as most other years. The episode refers to our frantic but abortive attempt to leave for the Thanksgiving weekend. Now when it is apparent that departure is eminent around our house, a collision with another planet would not move Mandy from the proximity of the front or back seat of each and every vehicle whose door was left open. When it came time to leave, and camper was all hooked up — no dog. Well, to shorten an otherwise excruciatingly long story and to avoid belaboring you with how a normally calm individual can transform from a festive holiday mood in one with dangerous homicidal overtones within a span of just fifteen minutes, we will just say that Mandy was uncovered, literally, when upon insistent be-searching by Diane to check the camper, I sneaked a peak in the door and came nose to nose with the incarcerated beast who had scrunched into a 6 inch space between the folded bed and the top of the camper. And to think, after a half hour of calling, pleading, promising and threatening (in that order), nary a word from her!

Well, back to the beginning. Karen finished her freshman at Georgia Southern with reasonable success. It does seem incredible since for the life of me I cannot understand where she had time to squeeze academics into her otherwise filled schedule.

This summer she worked at St. Regis Mill here in Jacksonville, and combined with last year saved enough to buy herself a small Opel sedan. (At this point in time, I am ready trade her my Buick wagon even). If thy ration gas, I will be able to back out of my driveway twice a week, with a little push). She is back at school now with Medical Technology her major.

Bruce is in his last year of Sandlewood High School. He is becoming interested in Photography and has bought a Miranda camera with 135mm telephoto lens. He saved money too working for St. Regis in the woods this past summer, mostly in Alabama and Mississippi (he’s been scratching red bugs ever since). He did acquire first hand knowledge of the rural South, and visited New Orleans on several occasions (I don’t think he will ever be the same).

Diane has spent her time about equally between swimming team, both school and neighborhood, scout activities and the telephone, although at time, I think the latter should carry a weight of 3. One of the high points was the receipt of her driver’s license. In all the literature written of late on aging and longevity, the impact on these phenomenon caused by teaching to drive is never mentioned, a serious error of omission, in my opinion. Well, three down one to go.

Talking about to go, George permeated throughout all activities as usual. His year highlighted by a trip to West Florida, Alabama and Mississippi this summer, accompanying Joyce and me on a business-pleasure trip. Our night in New Orleans was sight to behold. We lost George six times on Bourbon Street. His little body could hardly keep up with his eyeballs. There is really no way to describe Bourbon Street. George says he doesn’t even tell his friends about it because they simply won’t believe him.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the crude sketch at the top of the page — Disney World. We all except Karen, spent the week there while I attended a convention. All I can say about that is that in our out of the Magic Kingdom, is another world altogether. When you all save up enough gas, it is well worth your effort to come down and see it. When you do, you better give us a call. It’s been too long since we have had the chance to visit.

Our best from our house to yours for the new year.

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