‘Soulful Christmas’ by James Brown
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‘Soulful Christmas’ by James Brown
“(I’m dreaming of a) White Christmas”
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Joey Ramone
Note from Dan: While I’m on vacation, I’m treating you to oldie-but-goodie columns from the past. This one originally ran Dec. 18, 2012. It brought in mail form Massachusetts, California, and many, many head lice recipes. Fortunately, we haven’t had to use any of those in the Casey household this year.
Friends and relatives have long pondered the Casey family tradition of dining at a Chinese restaurant on Christmas Eve.
The truth is, it was all because of head lice. Hopefully, this will be the last time I have to tell that story.
It began on Christmas Eve 1993 when we lived in Annapolis, Md., which is pretty much the place I grew up.
We had three daughters at the time (our son, Zach, came along later). Caitlin, the eldest, was 6 (she’s now 24) and in first grade. Erin, now 21, was 3. And Anna, now 18, was 5 months old.
Our church had a late-afternoon Christmas Eve Mass for families with young children. We were in the process of getting ready for that. Donna was in the upstairs bathroom with Cait, whose hair she had washed moments earlier.
I heard a blow dryer go on for a moment, and then it shut off and a piercing shriek filled the house.
“Oh, my God!
“Dan — get up here!” Read more »
The Squirrel Nut Zippers — A Johnny Ace Christmas
Some years ago, the small city of Roanoke, Va., gave the world a rock band that can best be described as a cross between Creedence Clearwater Revival and the B-52s. Ladies and gentlemen, Southern Culture on the Skids!
I’m no rap fan, but this is one of my favorite Christmas tunes of all time. A genius combination of peotry, beat & song! Listen to a few times and see if you don’t agree.
Since 1947 the charity Toys For Tots has brought joy and priceless smiles to millions of needy children who otherwise would have felt passed over by Santa on Christmas morning. The U.S. Marine Corps operates this wonderful charity. However, for decades the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club has been such an enormous patron of it that many people erroneously believe they are the chief sponsor.
The Hells Angels contribution to Toys For Tots is warmly appreciated. At a charity drive in New York , they were joined by the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club of active and retired Marines. The Leathernecks, who were there representing the charity, presented the Hells Angels with a certificate of thanks for their contributions. The Angels also donated the $10 entrance fees to the Salvation Army.
In Cold War-era Eastern Europe, the appearance of bananas on grocery shelves was a sure sign Christmas and New Year’s were nigh. The imported holiday treat for the masses was a costly hard currency splurge by communist central planners.
Bogusia, my Polish wife, recalls her father braving 2-hour lines in 15- degree December weather to buy bananas. Timing was always nerve racking. If her father bought too early, the bananas would begin turning brown by Christmas Eve; if he waited too long, the bananas might be sold out and the children would be heartbroken. After the Christmas Eve dinner, Bogusia and her younger siblings would eagerly rush to find elaborately wrapped bananas under the Christmas tree. It was the highlight of the evening.
While bananas were associated with the year-end holidays behind the Iron Curtain, the fruit has also been at the center of political intrigue and conflict elsewhere more or less continuously since the late 19th century. From the beginning, the United Fruit Company, and its successor, Chiquita Banana, has played a central role.
Registered in New Jersey, United Fruit was founded in 1899. By the 1920s it operated in 10 Central American and Caribbean countries. It dominated the world banana market, including an 80% share in the U.S. alone.
The banana market was not the only thing United Fruit dominated. Bradley Palmer, its driving co-founder, developed a strategic relationship with the U.S. government. He was an advisor to many Presidents and Congress. With both overt and covert U.S. government assistance, United Fruit took control of much of the infrastructure in the countries it operated in.
This included the postal service, railroads, ports and telecommunications. United Fruit’s Tropical Radio & Telegraph Co. played an historically important role in the development of radio communications. It had a controlling interest in a number of national telecom companies, including those of Cuba and Guatemala. Read more »
At the first bar of Christmas
My true love gave to me
A bottle that came from
A pear tree.
Behold the ladies on the left. They accosted me on Jefferson Street Saturday afternoon, and were among 300 or more participants in the Square Society’s “12 bars of Christmas” pub crawl.
The middle one’s name is CeeJay. One of the others is named Rachel, but I can’t recall which. What a cool event. I now know where I’m gonna be on the second Saturday in December next year!