Friday, December 16, 2011

34 Years of Christmas Poems: Christmas 1986

Memories and childhood, the ability to hold on to being childlike as we age; that is the promise of Christmas and what I hope for every year as it approaches. In 1986, it came together as this poem. The images I invoked are certainly withdrawn from the memory bank of seasons past. There will be further visits to said bank as the years roll by.

As you look at the original poem, I'd like to welcome you to my entry into the world of desktop publishing. This was done on a 512K Mac and an early inkjet printer. Note the "fancy artwork" as I turned the title into ornaments. Considering this was twenty-five years ago, that was fairly advanced at the time. I will stray into artful creations more and more often over the upcoming years but will also still use the purity of the typewritten page when up against the Yuletide wall.

Christmas 1986
Richard Perrotti

It’s a fantasyland for all children,
Shining colors and gleaming new toys.
A dazzling array assaulting the senses,
Wonder and merriment for little girls and boys.

They cannot begin to grasp it,
To understand it in one giant scoop.
So memories exceedingly precious
Are saved in their “holiday loop.”

Like the smell of Mom’s cookies baking,
Dad fixing the gold star just right.
The sound of the train clacking under the tree,
How the snow colors the cold winter’s night.

And as these children grow older
Those memories seem to come more alive
As they “go through the motions of Christmas,”
And magically relive the age of five.

The world seems to grow a bit colder
As we get a bit older each year.
But the warmth called “the holiday spirit,”
Is but the glow of holding childhood near.

May we all be with children this Christmas,
And may we all more childlike be.
For to be granted the peace of the children
Is another ornament for your memory tree.


December 1986 roll call:
1st - Muséed'orsay opens in Paris
1st - Paul McCartney releases "Only Love Remains"
2nd - Dow-Jones index hits record 1955.57
3rd - Sri Lanka all out 55 v WI in one-dayer Walsh 5-1 in 4 3 overs
4th - NASA launches Fltsatcom-7
4th - Neil Simon's "Broadway Bound," premieres in NYC
6th - 52nd Heisman Trophy Award: Vinny Testaverde, Miami Fla (QB)
6th - France performs nuclear test at Muruora Island
7th - Juli Inkster/Tom Purtzer wins LPGA J C Penney Golf Classic
7th - Pres Jean-Claude Duvalier flees Haiti
8th - House Dems select majority leader Jim Wright as 48th speaker
10th - Atlanta Hawk Dominique Wilkins scores 57 points vs Chicago Bulls
10th - France performs nuclear test
10th - Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel accepts 1986 Nobel Peace Prize
11th - A Bartlett Giamatti becomes president of baseball's National League
11th - South Africa censors press
12th - David Boon's fourth Test century, 103 v England at Adelaide
12th - James "Bone Crusher" Smith TKO's WBA champ Tim Witherspoon in MSG
12th - Russian Tupolev-134 crashes in East Berlin, 70 killed
12th - South African journalist Zwelakhe Sisulu arrested
14th - Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan & Jeana Yeager, took off from Edwards AFB, Calif on 1st non-stop, non-refueled flight around world
15th - 150 killed during race riot in Karachi
15th - CIA director William Casey suffers a cerebral seizure
15th - Carnegie Hall reopens after a $50 million facelift
16th - Revolt in Kazakhstan against Communist party, known as Zheltoksan, which becomes the first sign of ethnic strife during Gorbachev's tenure
17th - US Congress forms "Irangate" committee
17th - Mrs Davina Thompson makes medical history by having the 1st heart, lung & liver transplant (Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, England)
18th - Mr Gates, serves as acting director of CIA
19th - USSR frees dissident Andrei Sakharov from internal exile
19th - Jack Morris agrees to salary arbitration with former team Tigers & accuses owners of collusion against free agency
19th - Michael Sergio, who parachuted into Shea Stadium during game 6 of the World Series, sentenced to 100 hrs of community service & fined $500
20th - White teenagers beat blacks in Howard Beach, NY
21st - 75th Davis Cup: Australia beats Sweden in Melbourne (3-2)
21st - Amy Alcott/Bob Charles wins LPGA Mazda Golf Championship
22nd - India score 7-676 v Sri Lanka at Kanpur in Cricket
23rd - Rutan & Yeager make 1st around-the-world flight without refueling
24th - French hostage Aurel Cornea, held in Lebanon for 9 months, released
24th - Iran offensive against Iraqi islands of Shatt al-Arab
26th - Captured Iraqi Airways Boeing-737 in Saudi Arabia, about 60 killed
26th - Doug Jarvis, 31, sets NHL record of 916 consecutive games
26th - TV soap "Search for Tomorrow" ends 35 year run
27th - "Les Miserables" opens at Kennedy Center, Wash DC
27th - 10th Soap Opera Digest Poll Awards - Young & Restless wins
28th - Pat Davis, ranked 412th among world tennis competitors wins Davis Cup
31st - Dupont Plaza Hotel fire in San Juan, Puerto Rico kills 97
31st - Russian TU-144 flies for 1st time faster than sound
31st - WIS-AM in Columbia SC changes call letters to WVOC (now WOMG)

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