The year was 1954, and living in small town in Central Massachusetts our father was known as the "town drunk". He could not hold a job, was abusive to my mother and seldom home.
Mom worked two jobs to put food on the table and the newest invention - the TV had just been introduced. She wanted her three children to enjoy a "bit of happiness", and although our father was unemployed, he somehow managed to purchase the TV.
Following three months of Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, The Lone Ranger, for the three of us kids, and Milton Berle and Jack Paar for mom, reality set in when the bill collector appeared at the door with a notice to repossess the TV the day after Christmas.
Ziggy and Adina Zenn were Jewish refugees liberated from the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in 1945 and settled in our town in Central Massachusetts. They owned a convenience store and also one of the finest penny candy selections anywhere.
One of their suppliers delivered a fully shaped freshly cut Colorado Blue Spruce Christmas tree to the Zenn's, but because of their Orthodox practice did not have need for the tree.
My father promised us a tree to be delivered several days before Christmas but due to his problem with alcohol, the tree never materialized.
My mother visited Ziggy, and in admiring the tree was told that it was already promised to another family. She gathered up the three of us along with a hand saw, asked a farmer for permission to enter his pasture to cut an old "scrub" tree for us to decorate.
We decorated the tree and went to bed on Christmas Eve only to awaken to the beautifully decorated tree from Mr. and Mrs. Zenn. The original family to whom they offered the tree was given one from a relative and the Colorado Blue Spruce was delivered to us late on Christmas Eve.
In addition to the perfectfully shaped tree, Ziggy and Adina learned of the repossession of the TV and as a gift to my mother paid for it - thus removing the worry of the repossession from my mom and rescuing Roy Rogers.
Mother finally divorced my dad and married a wonderfull man who was a great husband and iedal father - and, did not partake in alcohol to excess.
My father never did come home for Christmas...
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About the Author
No stranger to writing, acting and singing, in 2006, Bob was chosen to play Charles Ryan in the Kent Brown Summer Love series “ARE WE THERE YET?” A summer theatre production by The Falls Run Players of Fredericksburg, Virginia. This was Bob’s first acting role and his performance earned him the best actor’s award for 2006. A hidden talent also become apparent when Bob was selected to sing John Travolta’s Summer Nights from the smash hit “Grease”. He is also a member of The First Baptist Church of Bonita Springs, FL where he has been actively involved in the choir for the past 6 years - and his tenor voice has allowed him to produce over a half dozen Christian songs by Randy Travis Following an impressive career with U.S. Airways, Bob retired in 2000 and has devoted much of his time to producing ORPHANS OF THE MOURNING, his first novel about a soldier in Vietnam who eventually becomes the first Vietnam veteran President of The United States. This book is currently available in the e-book format from Barnes & Noble. Bob was thrust into the nationwide scene in 1983 with his nationally acclaimed Vietnam poster poem The Wall, a statement about the emotional pain and anger of Vietnam - frrlings and sentiments he was not permitted to express while in uniform, but once discharged, a trip to The Wall evoked his deep personal feelings. The Wall was displayed in The White House in 1983 and as a result received instant success when President Ronald Reagan personally honored Bob for his contribution to all Vietnam Veterans. To date, tens of thousands of copies have been sold. Bob has also recently finished his second novel, MURDER IN OGUNQUIT a mystery which takes place in the small New England coastal town of Ogunquit, Maine known as “A Beautiful Place By The Sea”. In addition to his full length novels, Bob is offering a series of his “folksy” down to earth short stories at no charge for your enjoyment here on Smashwords, and it is the author’s desire that you will consider purchasing his novels after a brief sampling. Prior to his assignment in Vietnam in 1967, Bob served 16 months in Frankfurt Germany as a civilian with the U.S. Army’s prestigious unit; The 513th Military Intelligence Group as a Top Secret Cryptographer In Vietnam he was assigned to the First Cavalry Division (Airmobile), 13th Signal Battalion and was awarded The Purple Heart for wounds received in action in addition to The Bronze Star Medal and other awards. Bob and his wife Maureen reside in Fredericksburg, VA in the summer months and winter in Bonita Bay, Bonita Springs, FL.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Dear Bob, thanks for remembering the penny candy. I can still remember the taffy, wax lips, dots, the list goes on.....Sadly this genetation knows nothing about penny candy or family get togethers. They are all in a hurry! Thanks again. J.
But confusing in sections since transitions were a bit rough...especially after reading about the bill collector coming and then all of a sudden reading about the storekeeper and his wife and their experience in Auschiwitz. At first I thought that the story about the tv had ended abruptly and a new story had started. I later realized how the stories connected but transitions could have been smoother.
Having lived through those times and being the first family to have a TV on in the neighborhood, I can re-live those times through the stories and characters. Although our TV was not threatened by having repossed, the shows were the same. RR, Gene Autry, Captain Midnight and the Video Ranges, Sgt. Preston etc. The family was protected from any repossion. Whoever tried, had to answer to very well connected people.
Thank God for our guardian angels who looked after us during our formative years. They left us many wonderful memories. Thanks Bob for sharing another great memory.
Being a short story it was cute. At one time TV was a big thing if a person had it in their home especially when since it was an new invention.