Merry Christmas, 1997
To celebrate Christmas, I am sharing my Christmas Day columns, a tradition that started in 1996. Here is the 1997 version:
A Christmas story: Dec. 24, 1987. The Christmas Eve service at Simpson United Methodist Church was dragging.
The minister was reading from a book not nearly as exciting as “The Night Before Christmas,” which the little boy’s dad read to the family every year.
Wearing a snow suit and moon boots, the 21/2 -year-old lad wiggled away from his father, out of the pew and down the aisle.
Dad tried to grab him, missed and Little Mr. Moon Boots made it all the way to the pulpit, with the congregation howling in laughter.
Enough of that boring book, the little boy seemed to be saying. He lifted up his own request. “Now will you read the Care Bear book?” he asked.
Now when you see him bouncing around as a ballboy at basketball games, you know energy never has been a problem for the son of Kelvin Sampson.
A Christmas story: Dec. 24, 1973: The high school in the East Texas town had been integrated in 1970, with the usual walkouts and turmoil and bitter blood.
But a new football coach was hired, there was a black family in town with talented boys and the folks began to rally around their Friday Night heroes.
The school won a state title, and two days later was Christmas Eve. The star player and his little brothers, twins, went shopping in town, and everyone was so happy they showered with gifts the brothers who suddenly didn’t need any Christmas money.
John Tyler High School had become a much happier place because of Earl Campbell.
A Christmas story: December 1985. The family, always home for the holidays, found itself in Honolulu because of Dad’s business.
It was 80 degrees, everything was sunny and green, and the family figured Hawaii had been invented by the Grinch.
The father went searching for a little cheer, and a woman in a nearby office said her little tree was his to have.
The family put it in their hotel room, tried to decorate it with a few ornaments and then looked at each other and laughed in pity. They had a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
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