Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas To All...

Merry Christmas friends and family!

To share in the good cheer, I wanted to share a legendary Christmas story from my family, back from the late-60's. My dad was drafted and went to Vietnam, and made one Christmas pretty memorable for everyone.

This is from my Aunt Ellen:
"Your dad had spent the last year in Viet Nam.  He came home
in July, and
his only requests were to have Budweiser and Christmas.
The tree was
up, wrapped presents under the tree, and the Bud was on ice.
All was
well, and we were all totally ecstatic to have him home safe.

But he still had to serve, and for the rest of his tour of duty,
he had to go to California.
Safe place, but so far away from New
Jersey. Christmas was coming up, and my Mom,
and all of us,
were missing Jerry terribly. He was not going to be able to
get home for
Christmas and Mom, especially, was sad about that.

A day or two before Christmas,
Jerry called Janice,
his girlfriend (ED NOTE: my mom), and told her he was able to come

home for a few days. Janice called me and we kept it
secret from everyone else.

After a late evening celebration of Christmas on Christmas Eve,
everyone went to bed,
except me. (I did tell my Dad so he wouldn't
think I disappeared in the night.)
Janice picked me up to go to
the airport, way the heck to some airport in New York. His flight
coming in about three am. We sat giggling in the airport, anticipating
how surprised
everyone would be. When he arrived, we were tired but
psyched. We arrived back in
Bogota, NJ, at about six in the

We tiptoed in, and then Jerry yelled at the top of his lungs,
"Hey, where is everybody??"

With that, I heard my Mom's voice say, "Is that Jerry??????" and I
heard Edward yell,
"Yippee!!!" and the entire family tumbled down
from the upstairs rooms and jumped
all over Jerry.

My favorite Christmas, ever.

I can still hear mom's voice saying "Is that Jerry???" What a day!"
It's one of my favorite family Christmas stories. Sadly, I don't have any video of his Christmas surprise, but I do have some old film of his initial July return to the States from his tour of duty in Vietnam. (Cast note: My mom is the one in the white dress and black bow, my dad is in uniform, aunts and uncles are all around, and there's no audio) Enjoy:

Merry Christmas! I hope someone out there has as great a story as that one after today.


Lisa said...

what a wonderful story. thanks for sharing brian. and that home video is FANTASTIC!!!
happy merry everything. xxoo lisa, riley and little man

Aunt El said...

Brian, the fire engines in the video are filmed just for the effect. We wanted to pretend that there was a parade for your dad. David and I drove around Bogota filming things; bunting on the bank, fire engines, his name on the war monument...big times in a small town.

Euphman said...

Weird but neat to see your folks in those vintage outfits. What a great story.

Anonymous said...

good story! merry christmas bri.

-dave and keri