Christmas memories - from the community

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A trip down memory lane, cable cars


How do you know what was your favorite Christmas past? I would like to say mine was Dec. 25, 1992, that was the last one we had with our son, for on Nov. 23, 1993, our son, Chuck was taken from us in a car accident.

As a boy growing up in Williamstown with my two brothers, Christmas was special whether it was just us with Mom and Dad or visiting family in Cincinnati with all the city lights and the cable cars going passed my aunt and uncles house on Highland Avenue.

I grew up in the 1940’s and 50’s, when the classrooms were decorated with cedar trees and we each drew names and played games in the classroom.

I asked my wife the other night, if she remembered the first time she ever saw Santa, she said, “No, but I bet you do.”

I answered saying, “yes.” It was on Warsaw Avenue in Dry Ridge. I was probably 4 or 5 when Santa came in. I was so scared I hid behind the couch.

I hold all the past Christmases special and especially the 21 years we had with our son. Like all little boys, Chuck loved electric trains and race tracks and I enjoyed playing them with Chucky.

Krystie came along when Chucky was 12, and he loved her because he always wanted a brother or sister.

Christmas isn’t the same since our son’s accident, but I thank God for all the memories of Christmases past and especially the 20 with our son.

When I come home to Williamstown, I don’t see empty store fronts. I can see it the way it was growing up there.

We lived across from the mill on the edge of town. The bank sits there now. From our house I went passed Stewart’s Grocery, then the fire station and Skinner’s Furniture and on passed the pool hall and the Grant County News office. Bennett’s Department Store was on the corner and across the street, Wigginton’s Department Store. Then there was the Bank of Williamstown and the Grant County Bank. Lucas Drug Store was next and served also as the bus stop. J.B. Miller’s drug store had the best double dip ice cream. On the next corner was Western Auto, where if you walk to the back, you got to visit Santa Claus. Along here was Stanley’s Funeral Home. Hullett’s Hardware was next and they had all kinds of Christmas decorations.

There was the dry cleaners and Engles Jewelery Store. Then Firestone Department Store and the theater, where you could see movies all day for 25 cents and the telephone office and the D.H. Restaurant (where I worked from sixth grade until I graduated) were next to it. There was also two garages and the Baptist church and Christian church down the street. Our school had grades one through high school; I went there 13 years, because I failed second grade.

We had a Kroger’s next to Caldwell’s Electric, Valentine’s dime store, which I visited a lot. Owen Glass’s barber shop, then Fred Whaley’s, where I got my hair cut.

Another grocery store was Snells, as well as Litts Department Store, Hotel Donald and the courthouse, Standard Oil, Juett’s Hardware, Clark’s Service Station where I met Louie Jump, working there and next to the mill, across the street is where I lived.

I hope you all relived the memories of our town. I know I will never forget. Merry Christmas.

Charles Kearns

Edmondson’s Grocery, the best place for Christmas candy

Growing up in a small community created many wonderful holiday memories. From Christmas caroling, shopping with the local merchants in town. I can remember shopping for that perfect gift for my parents on streets safe enough to walk alone while my father enjoyed a cup of coffee at Mulberry’s.

My favorite childhood Christmas memory; however, was our annual trip to Edmondson’s Grocery for the candy. My father and I would go and come home with chocolate covered peanuts, colorful coconut candy and hard Christmas candy. I can remember the peanut clusters, my mother’s favorite was the orange slices and Daddy’s favorite was peanut brittle. We would bring the candy home and Mom would put it all into candy jars and how pretty it was. I was fortunate as a child and always had great Christmases, but my favorite part will always be going with Daddy to buy the candy. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Shelia Madesberry Carr

The doll of my dreams

I was 16-years-old, when I saw the most beautiful doll in the window at Mr. Caldwell’s Western Auto store in Williamstown. I went right inside and also saw a little set of china play dishes! I told Harold, who was my boyfriend, about the doll and he got her for me. He and I were married July 16, 1955. My brother, now deceased, bought me the little dishes instead of the underwear he always bought for all of us, his sisters, at Christmas.

That was 52 years ago. My doll finally lost her arms and legs and I had to give her up. It was made of rubber and it dry-rotted. My little dishes are still in the cedar chest in my bedroom. I get them out every now and then just to look at them.

My son, Billy, came to us on Christmas Eve at 11:40 p.m. weighing in at 5 pounds and 14.5 ounces, so that was a blessing in place of my doll! He’s a doll, a wonder son. Christmas 1959 was great. He is 50 and the dishes are 52-years-old. Thank you for reading and I wish you and your’s a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Anna Pelfrey
Dry Ridge

Christmas is time to celebrate Christ

My best Christmas memory was spending time with my parents and brother and sister, and being around our cedar tree.

I’m glad our parents told us it was the Savior Jesus Christ’s birthday. I think we retired Santa Claus and his wife to heaven, where they could celebrate Jesus’ birthday with him in person.

Can you see all the candles that Jesus would have to blow out? The ones in heaven are with Jesus on his birthday. You know, we can’t send them a card or give them a gift, but they’re in a better place than we are.

I’m glad my parents didn’t go to extremes buying us gifts for Christmas—it’s Jesus’ birthday. Jesus was brought here on Earth for a reason. You can keep Jesus in your heart throughout the year, and think about what he had done for us. Can you stop and think about the pain Jesus went through when he was dying on the cross for us? I wish he did not have to die. Can you think of yourself being Jesus?

I wish he was here today, this world would be different. I’d make sure Jesus had bodyguards around him. Just think of Jesus at Christmas, and think of why he was here and the pain he went through for us on that cross.

Sherry Hornsby Tillet
Dry Ridge