Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 1957 and my Uncle Don

For those who didn't receive Uncle Don's Christmas letter this 
year, here it is. For those of you who don't know our Uncle Don, he 
is soon to be 90 and my mother's only living sibling. He worked at 
the Fresno Bee while still a teenager and retired after having been 
their managing editor for many years.

Below this letter, is an old home movie from 1957. I think 
Uncle Don is one of the few I labeled by name, so you will see 
him. He looks pretty much the same all these years later.

"Christmas Letter XXII
Published annually since 1993
Greetings from Don & Donna

On October 20th, Donna fell onto an end table, broke five ribs and cracked a bone in her spine. On November 20th, she was home, having spent the interval in hospital and nursing home and, happy to report, was treated well at both. Pain pills and walker no longer required, Donna has resumed life as it had been.

Her accident had another consequence, as did the fact that my next birthday will have a zero in it. It got us thinking about the unthinkable — living in an old folks’ home. That’s not what they call themselves; they are “retirement communities.” They come with hefty buy-ins but they’re not called that, either — they are “community fees.” Moreover, there’s a parking lot instead of a garage, one must hike to the dining hall, and not in pajamas or bathrobe. The rent is steep and there is no guarantee the food will be as tasty as advertised. For sure, everyone present will be old. 

Despite it all, we put down a deposit and got on a waiting list. On the upside, help would be available when needed and the cook would be someone other than myself. We chose the home that seemed to offer the fewest negatives and were told the average wait for an apartment (they’re called “cottages”) was nine months. Two weeks later, however, a vacancy turned up. Did we want it? No, we said, we weren’t ready just yet. We had a case of cold feet, although we have begun to think about shedding stuff and notified our landlady of what we had in mind. 

Will something nudge us to act or will we ask for our deposit back? Donna seems well. Her blood pressure is normal, as is mine with the aid of the pharmaceutical industry. At the supermarket, I’m more secure with a shopping cart in hand, but in general (and although I hate the word), I am spry. 

On Christmas Eve, my four children and four of six granddaughters will be in Fresno for dinner. Julie, Donna’s missionary daughter, and her family will be celebrating a day ahead of us in faraway Japan. Whatever your time zone, we hope your Christmas is merry and that the New Year treats you gently. "

All the little girls in this video are me. 
Along with my brothers, Richard and John and our parents. 
Uncle Don comes on about part way through it.


Anonymous said...

The music in this is hilarious! Who edited this? I loved the Mexican music! Loved seeing you at that age. I can definitely recognize you, Jill.

Grandma Honey said...

I laughed when I read your comment Darlene! :)
My Dad had these spliced together many years ago before editing was offered on personal computers….apparently he gave the guy doing this free rein with the music. I've always kind of liked his choices, in an odd sort of way.

Anonymous said...

There is something about young Uncle Don that reminds me of Sam's husband Brian... Hmmm...

Grandma Honey said...

Now that you mention it, I see it too. They have the same chin line. Similar bone structure in their faces. Interesting!

Scrapally said...

Makes me want to get out my old home movies! Very fun! Your family is so cute.