Wednesday, December 11, 2013

View From The Bridge 12/11/13

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

  “My trip to Rome is not to be,
    The Saints lost the game you see.
    Everyone says, “There is always next year,”
    But since they bid these games, I fear,
    It may not be Rome again.

What a delightful, “Back to the Old-Fashioned Christmas,” program it was last Sunday afternoon.  This was the Chouteau County Performing Arts third Christmas Concert.  They get better and better each year.

And how about the audience.  It was full to capacity and so many happy smiling faces.  It truly was the “Spirit of Christmas,” and a heart-warming family affair.

Those carols are still going round and round in my head today.  I know that it will last until the 25th of December.  We all have so much to be thankful for especially Karen, Molly, Peter, Kelli, Paige, Wendy and her Dancing Classes at T.C. Powerhouse, Eric and his Choir of Angels, the C.C.P.A. Board, Jim Taylor Motors, Don Hazen of Riverview Greenhouse, the Chouteau County Performing Arts Board Members, the General Federation of Woman’s Club of Fort Benton, and the Elementary School.  (I hope that I didn’t forget anyone.  If I did forgive me, and I will be sure to hear about it so I’ll catch you next week.)

Oops!  Forgot a very important person, my favorite Santa.  Of course, I am partial to him and I wonder if that makes me Santa’s Mom.  His latest poem “Santa’s Lament” is included at the end of
this article.  I know you will want to keep a copy.

I have to comment on the beautiful array of Christmas cookies provided by the Woman’s Club.  Our wonderful auditorium was decorated so eye-appealing, (as always.)  The best thing about the whole afternoon was the turnout by folks who filled every seat in the house.  It was a nasty afternoon to leave your nice warm houses but the love of family was even greater.

I did not get very far with my interviews for collections and hobbies.  However, I knew about Mary Zanto’s collection and saved it for this issue.

Mary has a fabulous collection of Santa’s.  She has been collecting for over 20 years and she has over 100 Santa’s of every description, big and small.  The largest one is 2 1/2 ft. tall and he is elegant.  One of her collection is an unusual one and it is an Afro American Santa.

Her collection began in a store in Malta.  She bought two Santa’s and that began her collection.   It grew every year to what it is today.

She would set them up every year in every nook and cranny in her home.  It is like walking into a Christmas Store but they are not for sale.  This year however, has been a sad one for Mary.  She will not be displaying her collection at this time.

I am going to work on setting up Mary’s collection in a prominent place where everyone can enjoy it.  Perhaps a store window, the Library, or the Museum.  If anyone has a suggestion, please let me know.  I know that in Fort Benton, we can work something out because I know that you and all the children in the community would enjoy it.

Q.  Why did the Montana Club in Helena have to sell the Charlie Russell painting it had commissioned to the Montana Historical Society?  A.  Below

A.  The appraised value of $250,000.00 caused such high insurance premiums it depleted the club treasury.

By S. Claus; presented by the poet at the CCPA Christmas Concert, Dec. 8, 2013

It used to be the North Pole
Was abuzz this time of year
With my little elves manufacturing
All kinds of Christmas Cheer. 

Now, Santa’s helpers are out of work
And I sit around in my recliner
Just waitin’ for the Fed Ex trucks
To bring me toys – all made in China.

And once Johny got skates and Suzie got
that Raggedy Ann doll she adored…
And the only Chinese product then
Was a star-shaped checker board. 

Now no one wants Raggedy Anns or Andys.
Today, if kids list dolls at all
They want ‘em to walk, or talk, or FLY…
(You heard me! FLY!! Here it is… $27.88 ROLLBACK at Walmart)
… The Flutterbye Flying Fairy Doll!!!

And Johnies and Suzies are scarce these days;
They’re all Britneys and Kaitlin and Seth.
I’ll even be making a first-time delivery
To some kid in L.A. named North West.

That’s a little Kardashian humor there
To show I’m “hip”… yep, I’m a hipster.
I’ll bet Kim and Kanye name their next girl “Key”
If North ever has a sister.
(Key…  West…  Get it?!  You’re a tough audience…)

And the gifts are all X Box this and I Pad that
And Nintendo in 3-D.
I’d play ‘em myself but I never received
An advanced computer degree.

And all those Gizmos are multiplied
By a thousand accessories.
Why, I gotta hitch a trailer to my sleigh
Just to haul the batteries!!

I recall when young ‘uns would play all day
With a simple rubber ball…
“Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Randy right over.”
“Ollie Ollie oxen free-o.”
How long since you heard that call?

Remember how kids played “Kick the Can”
Until it got too dark to see?
Now the only folks that are kicking cans
Are in Washington D.C.

Filling stockings was a snap then,
I’d just stuff an orange down in the toe
Plunk in a candy cane and some peanut brittle
And I was Good to Go.

Now I need to be a physicist
To shoe-horn all the junk in
To Baby’s First (wait for it!!)
Electronic Magic Talkin’ Stockin’.
(Walmart…. 18.99… Rollback…)

And kids don’t send letters either
Instead they tweet and twitter you
Here’s one:  “Hash tag Santa @ North Pole Geezer:
‘I want a new tattoo.’”
(Signed “North West.”  Why am I not surprised?)

And it’s not just the kids. Everything’s changin’….

I used to pile my sleigh high
With toys and other swag
Now my reindeer charge me 30 bucks
For every extra bag.

No one leaves me milk or cookies now,
It’s all No-Fat Triple Skinny Lattes,
Seaweed crackers, and a DVD labeled
“Santa’s Emergency Pilates.”

Even Mrs Claus got in the act.
You want to know what she did?
Cross-bred MY reindeer with YOUR muley deer
So I could drive a hybrid!!

I must admit, I am getting much better Grass Mileage…
(HHOL! HHOL! That’s “Ho Ho Out Loud!”)

I want to go back to simpler times
Two thousand years at least
When Christmas started with a simple sign…
A star shining in the East.

What am I sayin? I don’t like change??!!
Why that’s a bunch of folderol!
Cuz now that I think – that kid in a manger –
Heck, that was the biggest change of all.

Now that I think – that young feller brought
The keys to our salvation.
Taught us about love, and hope, and faith
And peace and toleration.

I guess if one man can change the world
I can put up with a Flyin’ Fairy Doll.
It’s not such a stretch when you think of it –
My reindeer can fly, after all.

I better change the title of this poem!
“Santa’s Lament” won’t do.
Let’s call it “Santa Wishes a Very Blessed
And Merry Christmas to Each and Every One of You.”

© 2013 North Pole Publishing.  You can use it, but give Santa author’s credit, or you go straight into the “Naughty” category.  And absolutely no pouting, please….