A Tale of Two Christmases (1979)

December 1979

Despite how it looks in this photograph, I (2) really did love Great-Grandma Nellie Smith (75). She was all the things that you imagine a great-grandmother should be. She made the best frosted sugar cookies, and on her TV was a lava lamp that my cousins and I spent hours watching during our holiday visits. She lived three hours away in the next state, but the drive was totally worth it. Sadly, Great-Grandpa Rude Smith passed away in 1975, two years before my birth; I’m told he was a much-loved figure in the community.

December 1979

Despite how it looks in this photograph, we all really did love Great-Grandma Nellie Smith. My guess is that this was taken after my not-so-happy photo above, which would explain why my mom (23) and dad (22) don’t look thrilled. Trust me, Christmas at Great-Grandma Smith’s was a great time.

Christmas Eve 1979

Here I am, back in Indiana; it’s Christmas Eve and I’m ready to open gifts.

Christmas Eve 1979

I think my Christmas Eve gift opening was mostly due to my mother being as anxious as I was to open gifts early. Notice my dad’s rockin’ stereo setup in the background.

Christmas Eve 1979

What could be in that big box?

Christmas Eve 1979

Holy cow! It’s a Muppet’s drum set! Don’t worry, that abandoned little chalkboard desk in the background got plenty of attention later.

Christmas Eve 1979

Little did I know that this would be the pinnacle of my nonexistent music career. If you look closely, you can see photos of my parents and I on the TV. My dad is holding a large glass piggy bank (notice he’s sporting his usual navy blue work uniform), and my mom is pregnant with what would become the angry infant in the middle photo.

Christmas Eve 1979

Hey, look! Grandpa (45) and Grandma (43) Gleason stopped by for a visit.

Christmas Eve 1979

I tricked Grandma into getting closer to the drum set. I loved the crap out of that Incredible Hulk doll.

Christmas 1979

I was still drumming on Christmas morning. I’m wearing pajamas, so, I must have slept at some point.

Christmas 1979

Okay, this is the last picture of me drumming, I promise.

Christmas 1979

Look at all that loot. It turned out to be a pretty good Christmas.


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