Former residents have warm memories of Christmas

Reflections - By Evelyn Long - for the Morrow County Sentinel

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, a time of warmth when people join their families to celebrate or attend a church. Christmas is also a time when many of us conjure up memories of past Christmases and the older one is, the more memories there are. I speak from experience. Here are a few of those memories from former residents.

I spoke with JOAN RICHESON, now a resident of Holly Hill, Florida, but she grew up in Cardington. She remembers her father, Paul, once the mayor of Cardington, going all out with lights over the exterior of their house on Morgan Street. She said she remembers one Christmas when she was given a wrapped box with little holes in it and when she opened it a puppy jumped out!

MARY McALISTER, who taught school in Cardington and lived here until she moved to Fort Myers, Florida, said she remembers when she and her late husband, Wilbur, were members of the Rotary Club, the club would dine at a special restaurant at Christmas.

Her son-in-law, CARL PECKO, also of Fort Myers, said he remembers his family playing bingo games in the American Legion Post 97 home when it was upstairs above the Independent Office. These games were played the week of Christmas with the winner receiving a turkey or ham. His mother won several, he said.

JEAN CAMPBELL WINCHELL, now a resident of Hebron, said she remembers her grandparents, Lennie and Nellie Russell, who lived in East Main Street, cutting the top from their Pine tree in the back yard and taking it into the house to decorate it.

DENNIS THOMPSON, now a resident of Daytona Beach, Fla, remembers when he was a small lad and living on Gilead Street, his parents hid presents in the closets. Gift giving was Christmas Eve. He recalls baking Santa cookies with his mom for Santa and when it was dark his dad took him in the car to look at the beautiful lights on houses in down. During that time his mom drank some of “Santa’s milk” and ate a few of the cookies. Later his mom sang Christmas songs with him. “How I miss those days in a wonderful town full of great people.”

DONALD KREIS, who lives in Largo, Florida, remembers his Christmases while growing up in the Depression. “The town had lights of varying colors spaced across the major streets entering all directions and a big decorated tree was in the park. Gift giving was on Christmas Eve and it included “Mom’s skills in the kitchen.”

FRANKLIN DENNIS, now living in Marion, said he remembers there were dances in the old Legion Hall the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve and he enjoyed watching Dale and Wanda Carsner dance- the music was furnished by records.

We each have our special memories of the biggest holiday in the year but none of those I talked to mentioned the race to purchase gifts.

I have many, many memories of Christmas including the morning when I was about 9 years old and my sisters were seven, five and four and when we opened the door that morning coming home from Candlelight services, a little Collie pup came running to greet us. We had Curly for 15 years, a really long lasting gift.

I pray you each make more memories this Christmas and that those memories are close to your heart. I am thankful for your kind words about this weekly column- it means so much.

100 years ago, December, 1915: Last minute gifts could be purchased at Mooney’s Drug Store. It was Christmas but the inevitable Lost item was noted: “Someone left an old hat at the Christu Candy kitchen a month ago. The proprietor would like to have them call and get it!”

60 years ago, December, 1955: Christmas mail set a new post office record at Cardington and Mt Gilead, exceeding any previous year in history. Postmaster at Cardington was Paul D Fleming and Mt. Gilead’s Postmaster was C.S. Gladden.


By Evelyn Long

for the Morrow County Sentinel