It was a great day with my father!!!
I was six years old…I know that seems like forever when you say 1966…and life was great. I was in Mrs. Dixons First grade class, Scotty Bell was one of my best friends and my cousin Russell and I could not be separated.
I remember Christmas a little different then…I was excited to take a nickel (yes a nickel) and put it in a box that Mrs. Dixon had prepared to help to buy shoes for a couple of kids in our class that did not have any…I thought everyone had shoes!
I remember the excitement that surrounded the family when we would go into Talladega (the big town) and shop around the square. There was Woolworths which was the fantasy land there with the toy isles and Santa in the back and sometimes walking the isles to see the boys and girls. I could not wait for that time. To walk in to Sears and Roebucks and smell the popcorn and hot peanuts and cashews and the candy that you could only dream of was awesome for this young lad waiting for the greatest time of the year.
Shopping with the family was fun…but dad did not shop..he was busy working, hunting taking care of business…it was what dad’s were suppose to do. Then there was that day…
It was the day of the Christmas Parade in the “Big Town” Mom would be working late and dad’s routine would not allow me to go, so I would just tell my friends I would be at home. Dad Worked for Tom’s Chips at the time so his days were pretty long and hectic especially at Christmas. Sometime that afternoon (we were still in school) there was a knock on Mrs. Dixons door…I turned and looked and it was my Dad…He had a smile on his face and told the teacher that I needed to leave. I grabbed my book satchel and ran to my Dad…His Tom’s truck was outside so I jumped in it and we took off.
I asked “Where are we going?” He just smiled and I noticed we were going toward Talladega. I thought well he’s gonna load the truck and come back home for the night and I was getting to be with him. That’s good enough.
When we got to town the roads were blocked off for the parade, and Dad drove around to where Winn Dixie was..and he stopped.. He said “Come on, put your coat on!” we did not go into Winn Dixie…walked right passed it. Then I saw mom and my sister and thought whats going on…then it hit me! We are gonna watch the parade! We got to the street and the people were lining up! (Macy’s had nothing on this parade) This six year old was in heaven!
There were the vendors selling balloons and clowns juggling and the shriners riding those mini-bikes! THEN the bands!!!Wow the bands were awesome…Jingle bells…Rudolph the Rednose reindeer…Silent Night…(did I say this was the 60″s) There were floats and the queens and the Mayor of the town…all through the eyes of this six year old was truly magical…the crowds were heavy so Dad picked me up put me on his shoulders just so I could see better. And then the ending was the police cars with their whining sirens and flashing RED lights giving us the warning that the most important person of the parade was there…With his wife beside him and those plastic reindeer Santa would wave to the crowd and tell that he was coming soon! The parade was over!
Walking back to the truck..I fell asleep in Dad’s arms…
What a day!!!!
To walk with my Dad, to be held by my Dad, to be lifted up by Dad, to be loved by my Dad.
(did I mention the parade was nice too?)