Christmas Morning 1960’s Style


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The Bestest Christmas ever( up to that point)


It was Christmas day 1968 and as dawn broke over Hespeler my younger Sister and I were wide awake just waiting for the signal from our parents that would tell us to come downstairs and see what goodies awaited us.  As usual the stocking’s were hanging on the bottom bed post’s and we were comparing what was in them, the usual little things as well as the candy, fruit and nuts that was always in them, but our attention was more on what was waiting for us down stairs. And when my Mother yelled to come on down it was  race to see who could get down first as we pushed and shove and somehow made it down without killing ourselves. And the sight of the tree and all the presents was enough to bring a tear to my eye’s{ but I couldn’t let anyone see that}.

As was the family custom we had breakfast first and as always our older sibling’s made jokes about Santa missing our house or that the Bacon was really Reindeer meat but after a few years we had learned to ignore them and wolfed down our breakfast and anticipating the upcoming ritual of destroying the nicely wrapped presents.

Finally the moment arrived, my Dad had his coffee ready and we settled down to  what would only take 20 minutes, but would bring memory’s that would last a lifetime. Now what made this the best Christmas ever(up to that point)?  I will tell you. It wasn’t the Barrel of Monkeys or the rockem Sock em robots, it wasn’t the Ant Farm or the hottest toy of the year the newly introduced Hot wheels, it wasn’t the silly Putty or the wicked Slinky that would drive my Dad nuts for a good week after Christmas, it wasn’t the Super Ball or the Green Ghost Board game, and it certainly wasn’t the underwear or socks, even though the long Johns would be greatly appreciated come the real bitter January and february that would follow.  No it was something else that set my heart  a flutter and almost made me pee my pants with happiness. It was the JOHNNY SEVEN ONE MAN ARMY GUN, oh yea, a gun that would help me win at the games of war that my friends and I would play. It had everything,  a Grenade Launcher,  a Rocket launcher, Armour piercing shells, the rifle could fire up to ten bullets at a time and it came with a detachable cap pistol and was over 3 feet long. It could do everything and would make me one of the more powerful forces on Cooper Street. I don’t think I stopped grinning all day long and as every Aunt and Uncle and Cousin came by the house I made sure that the Johnny Seven was prominently displayed.  It was pure Heaven and I made sure everyone knew it( I think a few of them wanted to use it on me) and I didn’t care, as I made sure I went outside as soon as I could and tried everything on that sucker.

That was truly a great Christmas and while there were many more to come  that one stands out not only because of the Johnny Seven but because that was also the Last Christmas that I believed in Santa Claus and I find it Ironic that one of my last innocent moments as a child involved receiving a Gun.

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You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown


Everyone loves Charlie Brown and the incredible cast of cartoon characters that have graced the funny pages,television and the Broadway Stage. Charlie himself, Snoopy,Linus,Lucy,Woodstock, Sally,Schroeder,Peppermint patty and another 25 or so characters that have appeared at one time or another, their adventures are all classic and of course two stand out,”It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” and the Christmas Classic ” A Charlie brown Christmas”. From the off Screen “(woh-woh-woh).” delivered by all adults to Snoopy’s Alter-Ego “Joe Cool” we laughed and I am sure had a small tear or two occasionally, the one thing that was consistent was the entertainment value that Charles Schulz delivered on a regular basis, but the one aspect of the “Peanuts” Television specials that stands out to anyone who has seen them is the theme song, a musical rift that is as catch as any pop song there has ever been. No matter what age you are the minute that song comes on you automatically flash back to Charlie Brown, but what is the title of that song? And who wrote it?

The song has an Interesting story, it was written by Vince Guaraldi and was not originally written for the Peanuts Television specials but was written for two of the peanuts Characters, confused? Well let me explain. The song is from Guaraldi’s 1964 album ‘Jazz impressions of a boy named Charlie Brown” and the song itself is entitled” Linus and Lucy”, not a song about Charlie Brown at all, but instead about Linus and Lucy Van Pelt, secondary characters in the scheme of things and eventually wound up as the theme song from”A Charlie brown Christmas” in 1965. So an Iconic song associated with Charlie Brown is instead about his nemesis and her brother weird isn’t it.

The full listing of the album is as follows

Oh, Good grief

Pebble beach

Happiness Is

Schroeder

Charlie Brown Theme

Linus and Lucy

Blue Charlie Brown

Baseball Theme

Freda(With the naturally Curly Hair)

Now if I could only find a copy of it….hmm, Millpond Records, are you up for the challenge?