Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Ghosts of Christmas Past...part #1

Another dreary day in western Ohio, weather-wise at least...rain again overnight, with it still slowly coming down at this hour...a few miles to the north in the Convoy/Van Wert area, where I worked a game yesterday evening, it is coming down as snow, but that won't last as temperatures approach the 40 degree mark today, with a high of 50 on the horizon for tomorrow.  It could be worse, the folks along the I-40 from New Mexico through Oklahoma, and north into western Kansas, are dealing with a major blizzard.  10+ inches of snow, and now the wind has moved in, making travel impossible out that way.  I've been on I-40 in the Texas Panhandle driving RVs during a winter storm, believe me, it is no place to get stuck.

Last night after finishing the JV girls game at Crestview, I rushed back to Celina to finish up the first half of the season...I should have taken my time....we had already won the first game 2-1, by the time I arrived...but after starting game #2 with a 2-0 first inning lead, where I went 1 for 1 with a triple, RBI, and a sacrifice, I went hitless for the rest of the night, and we never scored another run...losing 4-2 and 3-0...to finish the season's first half at 11 wins and 10 loses.  The second half will begin in early January, though we may switch the opening from January 2nd to the 9th.  I finished the first half at .413 with 7 RBIs...about par for the course, although the RBI total is low, but since I am now hitting mostly lead-off, it's not surprising.

Christmas Pasts_____part one

Needless to say, I don't remember much of my few Christmas seasons, from 1949 through the 1953, we lived in the tiny berg of Scott, Ohio, on the Van Wert-Paulding County line...the area my great grandparents had settled in shortly after the Civil War had ended, and where my grandfather Sam Houseworth, the 10th of 11th children of Nelson and Mary Ann Houseworth, was born in 1877.

My first Christmas recollections were living in the post war travel camp at Alston's Cottages in South Venice, Florida...mom, dad, Mike, Marty, and Me, and usually those early Christmases, Grandma Houseworth would travel down from Scott, to stay with us in those tiny, cramped, quarters.  We didn't have much, but the tree was always filled with plenty of toys, and gifts....so if we were indeed poor, we sure didn't notice or realize it.  The years of 1954 through 1956, and into the Spring of 1957 were spent in South Venice.  By late Summer 1957 we had moved to the Venice By-Way, before the folks purchased the home in Venice on the corner of School Street{don't know why it was named that, there was no school nearby}, and Pineland Avenue, by the time Christmas 1958 rolled around.  We would live there another 4 years before packing our bags, dogs, cats, and belongings, and returning to west Ohio, where we would settle in the Celina/Montezuma area.

I remember those first Christmases in Florida best however, always getting enough to satisfy us, but not so much that we became spoiled.....I remember board games, bikes, knives, pellet guns, and other items long since gone.....we may not have realized it, but we were indeed lucky.  Never did we overly expect more than we got....and I never remember being dissatisfied with those items...even though some may have been put by the wayside shortly after the season.  Frankly, after moving back to Ohio, where the weather was more 'Christmas like', I just don't remember the Christmas seasons, like I did those of the decade we lived in south Florida.

More tomorrow....another JV game, this one of the boys variety, in Van Wert tonight...back later>>>>

Photos-Christmas 1955 is probably the first that I really remember.  Me, Marty, and Mike, on that morning at the Alston's Cottage living room.... despite the looks I don't believe that Mike and I were unhappy with what we received...more like we were still too damn tired to wake up, probably after staying up half the night waitin' on Santa.  The Cottages were are home from the early days in South Florida, 1954 though the early months of 1957.  The bottom photo is from out new home on School Street in the Edgewood Section of Venice, Florida....our friends from Scott, Ohio, joined us that Christmas in 1959...left to right, me, Mike, Marty in front, and my best friend from my Scott days, Al Foust....who still lives up that way, in Payne, Ohio, these days.

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