Last Saturday, I met two of Santa’s helpers. They didn’t have pointed ears, but they have huge hearts to help kids in our county as coordinators of the Toys for Tots of Haralson County.
Curtis and Brenda Eidson were out collecting toys in front of the Bremen Walmart last weekend. Presley and Callie took their money I’d given them and bought two dolls and donated them to make sure kids had something to open for Christmas. It was totally their idea. I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of them in my life.
The Marine Corps Reserve annual event is in full swing and time is ticking for their goal of thousands of toys for needy children in the area. A new unwrapped toy at some of the drop-offs will make a difference. I will be joining Captain Herb Emory of WSB radio and television today from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Fred’s Barbecue House off I-20 at Thorton Road next to Harley-Davidson of Atlanta for Herb’s annual broadcast for the Toys for Tots campaign. Listen to AM 750 or 95.5 today for details. Captain Herb is a member of the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame. If there was a Great Guy Hall of Fame, I’d like to nominate Herb Emory. A class act all the way.
In preparing for my Christmas column, I’d like to hear from you about your fondest Christmas memory growing up. I absolutely love this time of year. I’d like to thank Buddy Williams and Frank Kitchens in aiding the efforts to make the front of my house look like the Griswald’s house in the National Lampoon Christmas Vacation movie from a few decades back. Jean Shepard’s Christmas Story film about Ralphie, Flick, Swartz et al and the holidays in northern Indiana is a favorite. I bought Christmas Story 2 a couple of weeks ago. It falls way short in the laughter of the first. WTBS will air the original Christmas Eve for 24 hours.
NBC aired the Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed movie that gives a nudge at the heart in 1946s It’s A Wonderful Life last weekend. I think all of us wish we had a guardian angel like Clarence in our lives from time to time. Someone to remind us now and then that it really IS a wonderful life.
A great memory I have from about 21 years ago was when I was in an episode of In the Heat of the Night. I played Duke, a bar owner who had hired a country singer played by Robert Goulet and his manager was portrayed on the big screen by Gary Crosby the eldest son of Der Binger. At lunch, I asked Gary if he realized how much his father meant to the Christmas season with the all-time best selling classic White Christmas? “Yes” he said as tears welled up in his eyes.
Gary had written a book called “Daddy Dearest” that talked about the darker side of one of America’s most beloved entertainers. When I met him, he had finally made peace with his father’s memory. I think I had the same revelation about my own father not long after that. Bing Crosby died just a few weeks after Elvis Presley’s passing in 1977.
This time of year, I pretty much listen to Christmas music. There are songs that can come on the radio that I can’t get to the buttons fast enough to change stations. I never tire of the 1958 version of the Harry Simeone Chorale’s Little Drummer Boy. The spiritual Go Tell it on the Mountain dates back to 1865 and the lyrics and message are both timeless.
Do you all find that you are getting more Christmas greetings via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and text than Christmas cards the past few years? A great way to celebrate the season is coming up this Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. for the Tallapoosa Christmas Parade that starts at the old high school on Robertson Avenue. I love our town because if you want to be in a parade you can do so by riding a golf cart, riding lawnmower, mule and wagon, bicycle, Harley, or roller blades. I was reading in the Atlanta paper Monday that Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade this year had 360 units, 15,000 marchers and took five hours to finish.
It took the Atlanta Falcons to win 11 games before getting some respect from the national sports writers and television talking heads. They head for their 12th win Sunday at 1 p.m. up in Charlotte to play the Panthers. I have friends still smarting from the SEC Championship game. The Tide rolled, but the Dogs played their hearts out. Alabama goes for their 15th NCAA National Football Championship against Notre Dame in the BCS Championship in Miami and the Bulldogs play Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando on New Year’s Day. Georgia Tech heads to El Paso on Dec. 31 for the Sun Bowl to play USC.
Have any of you understood the fiscal cliff we are about to fall off of? I wish Tim Geithner, John Boehner and the others with hard names to spell would lock themselves in a room and hammer this thing out. I agree with the kid from Two and a Half Men. It IS garbage.
(Rhubarb Jones is a Tallapoosa native and a member of the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame in Nashville, the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame and a Lifetime Achievment Award winner from the National Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or write P.O. Box 6, Tallapoosa, GA 30176.)