Christmas in Frontier County

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Get the picture: Grandpa and Grandma had eight children, two boys and six girls.It’s Christmas, say.Every one of those children with their children will be there. Two families from Mississippi, three from Birmingham and three from within two or three miles of the old Boman home place.
We’ve been through the agonizing anticipation that lasted for weeks We’ve put up the tree and opened our presents that morning.
But now, we’re all up at Grandpa’s. To show you how fertile this clan was, I have six first cousins who were born within a year of my birthdate. As I’ve said before, on one of those Christmas days, there must have been a bunch of pregnant women waddling around.
How about those six? Well, Uncle Perry had Dale, Aunt Rama had Ross, Aunt Tennie had Hope, Aunt Teazie had Betty Jane, Aunt Ottie had Margaret Jean and Aunt Milla Ree had Frances.
There were many other cousins there, too, of course. Oh, yes. Grandma Moses without the snow. We had plenty of things to play with on that red clay yard. Imitation aviator caps with the goggles, pocket knives, balls of every size and type,marbles, tops, dolls, jacks, gun and holster sets with caps. The men and older boys would go down the road a little bit, by the creek, and murder poor defenseless sweet gum balls with someone’s rifle.And, watch it! Watch it! Here comes Russell on his new bike. Whoops. He crashed it into the bank, and everybody’s laughing.
“Ain’t funny,” he sniffed. Then there’s the long table with all the things Grandma had cooked plus things the girls had brought in.
Adults first and then us younger folk. “Hey, there’s a hair in my dressing,” Carolyn let everyone know.
On and on it would go. Finally Uncle Perry would start gathering his brood, getting some of them fixed on that cold flat bed of the truck. It would start to break up as family after family pulled away. Ross would be going home with us, and he and I would get up early the next morning to go hunting. It was a tradition for several years.
Finally all the out-of-towners left, and we went home to do thangs. Christmas was over. It was the saddest time of the year.
Merry Christmas everybody, from Frontier Country!
Bob Sanders is a veteran local radio personality, columnist, author and raconteur of note. He can be reached at bobbypsanders@gmail.com.

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