Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of the year. The worst Christmas time I remember in Rochelle was in 1941. My grandmother, Maggie Morri-son, was killed in Mason in mid-November. She was run over by a car as she was walking to church. The Japs bombed Pearl Harbor three weeks later. As an 11-year-old boy, I was in Rochelle, and they wouldn’t let me play the slot machines in Armour’s Cafe. I walked across the street to Johnny Boy Smith’s Gulf station. Some of the men there were drinking whiskey and cussing the Japs. Two or three of them got in a fist fight. They scattered and left when their wives came. But most Christmas times have been a lot of fun and excitement. This year was a blast when we all got together. A few odd things happened. My wife of 50 years gave we a pair of boots, size 8, and I wear a size 11. The three neckties I got were pretty, but I haven’t worn a tie since 1977. One of my cousins’ little boys wanted to kill a deer like the grandchildren did during Thanksgiving. I left him in the pasture, and he came back about 6 p.m. and said he had killed a spike. We went to get the deer, and it was one of my neighbor’s registered goats. Other than that it was great. The things I hoped for Christmas were world peace, everyone would stay healthy and I would win the 42 games. I did get a pillow that had writing on it: “God Bless America.” I believe God will bless America, but I am hoping that America will bless God.