Readers’ holiday memories in today’s letters to the editor.
Pick of the day: Christmas in a time of war
Christmas 1950, I had just returned to the States after a stint as a photographer war correspondent in Korea for The Associated Press. I was temporarily assigned to Seattle to edit film coming in from the war.
My wife and I lived in a local hotel. Christmas was going to be different than back home.
We needed a tree, so we went across the street to a floral shop operated by a Frenchman. His Christmas trees were very tall. We needed a small tree. After much dickering about size and cost, which drew a pretty good-sized street audience, he got a saw, cut a tree in half and charged me half-price. The crowd applauded.
Starting back to our hotel, I returned to ask what he’d charge for some limbs to decorate the room. He threw the stubby bottom of the tree in my direction. “Here, take it. I can’t sell the bottom!” More applause.
The tree was placed in a wastebasket stuffed with towels to keep it upright. The old-time bed light atop the headboard was covered with red cellophane and placed under the tree. Ornaments were used flashbulbs painted with red fingernail polish and hung with sewing thread.
Cheese, crackers and libation were used to entertain the hotel staff. They locked the front door and fixed the elevator on our floor. All had a merry, impromptu Christmas.
GENE E. HERRICK