Saturday, December 17, 2011

34 Years of Christmas Poems: Christmas 1987

Yet another trip to the memory bank, inspired by hearing announcements in a shopping mall reporting that missing children had been found and were waiting for a parent to come get them at security. Upon hearing the third one during my retail adventure, I started to remember a time that I had been lost like that many years before.

It brought back deeply ingrained memories of Christmases past. We really did have a silver aluminum Christmas tree for many years in the '60s decorated with green satin balls. My brother and I would spend hours laying on the floor, staring up at it as the color wheel spun round. Of course we repeated out loud in endless patter, "Red, green, yellow, blue..." drawling out each syllable in cadence to the spinning wheel as the tree changed color.

One year as I was playing with the Lionel train set under said tree, the transformer sparked and set the rug on fire. I ran in to tell the adults and it took for them to understand that I wasn't joking around. As for stockings, my parents knew they could easily get an extra hour of sleep because we woulds sit on our beds, delighting over the goodies stuffed into the stockings that had been hung on our bedroom door. Only afterwards would we charge into the living room to see what Santa had brought.

As far as what had to the the most delightful/annoying toy from my childhood, that was Mr. Machine, hands down. ( If it wasn't the sound of  his roaming gears or "Squawk", taking him apart and trying to put him back together was a trip (especially if you, perhaps, might be missing a gear or two.) I can imagine the parents wondering why the hell they ever submitted to buying such a delightful item of torture.

Yes, it is easy to travel back in time via the power of memories. All it takes is a triggering moment and off you go!

Technology note: I obviously got to the poem late this particular year as I wandered back into the quick and easy "typed and copied on paper" method. The next two poems will change that.

Christmas 1987
Richard Perrotti

Once again I was bopping to December’s hottest dance
The Shopping Mall Hop & Bounce,
Done to the tune of tinny, blaring carols,
When suddenly a voice did announce…

“Attention, holiday shoppers!
We have found a little lost boy.
He answers to the name of Matthew
And was found by ‘We Are Toys.’”

I sat for a moment to catch my breath
By a sight called “Christmas in Space.”
And as I stared at the aluminum landscape,
My mind wandered to a far-away place.

First red, then green, now yellow and blue,
The color wheel spun constantly round.
And the glow it cast on the silver Christmas tree
Shimmered hypnotic, yet managed to astound.

We would play with our stockings for hours
Before looking at even one gift.
But once the shredding of gift-wrap was started,
It required a Kiddy Land Mountain chair lift.

Was it when my Lionel trains caught on fire
That caused the most “grown-up” talk?
Or was it the level of annoyance inflicted
By my Mr. Machine’s resounding “SQUAWK?”

It was just then that a frazzled shopper
Bumped me back from my flashback of joy.
And I smiled, for though my name isn’t Matthew,
Nonetheless, I had been a little lost boy.


Memory lane, December 1987:
1st - Digging begins to link England & France under English Channel
2nd - Chicago City Council elects Eugene Sawyer acting mayor
2nd - Jennifer Steele, 17, of Colo becomes Miss Teen of America [Approx]
2nd - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
2nd - "334" club forms as 334 brave Devil fans journey through 20" of snow to attend NJ Devils 7-5 victory over Calgary at Meadowlands
4th - Karlstad skates world record 10 km (13:48.51)
5th - 53rd Heisman Trophy Award: Tim Brown, Notre Dame (WR)
5th - David Boon's 5th Test Cricket century, 143 v NZ at Brisbane
5th - Schonbrunn skates world record 3 km ladies (4:16.76)
6th - 3 satanist Missouri teenagers bludgeon comrade to death for "fun"
6th - Christa Rothenburger skates female world record 500m (39.39 sec)
6th - Jane Crafter/Steve Jones wins LPGA J C Penney Golf Classic
7th - 43 die in Pacific Southwest Airline crash in Calif (man shot pilots)
7th - Gorbachev arrives in US for a summit meeting
7th - Pacific Southwest crashes near Los Angeles, kills 43
7th - Palestinian uprising against Israel in West Bank
8th - Flyers' Ron Hextall becomes 1st goalie to actually score a goal
8th - Jack Sikma (Milwaukee) begins NBA free throw streak of 51 games
8th - Occupied Palestinians start "intefadeh" (uprising) against Israel
8th - President Reagan & Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev sign a treaty eliminating medium range nuclear missiles
8th - The Alianza Lima air disaster.
9th - Larry Bird, ends streak of 59 consecutive free throws
9th - Palestine uprising begin in Israeli-occupied West Bank
10th - "Nightline" is seen in USSR for 1st time
11th - Test debut of Carl Hooper, WI v India at Bombay
12th - Mookie Blaylock sets NBA record of 13 steals in a game
12th - Okla's sets NCAA record of 33 steals vs Centenary
12th - Rollermania at MSG, Eastern Express beats Midwest Pioneers
13th - Belgium Christian Democrats (CVP) loses parliamentary election
13th - Browns set club record for most points scored in a quarter, 28
13th - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
14th - Allan Border scores 205 v NZ to become Australia's top rungetter
14th - Chrysler pleads no contest to selling driven vehicles as new
15th - "Les Miserables" opens at Shubert Theatre, Boston
16th - Roh Tae Woo elected president of South Korea
17th - Czechoslovak party leader Gustav Husak resigns
18th - Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan's future pres, marries Asif Ali Zardari
18th - Ivan F Boesky sentenced to 3 years for insider trading
19th - Bruins' Linseman & Blues' Doug Gilmore score goals, 2 seconds apart
19th - Gari Kasparov becomes world chess champ
20th - "Nuts" with Barbra Striesand premieres
20th - 76th Davis Cup: Sweden beats India in Gothenburg (5-0)
20th - Dona Paz ferry sinks after crash with oil tanker Vector, 4386 die
20th - Nancy Lopez/Miller Barber wins LPGA Mazda Golf Championship
21st - 3 white NY teens convicted of manslaughter in death of a black man
21st - Soyuz TM-4 launches 3 cosmonauts to space station Mir
21st - Vladimir Titov & Musa Manarov launched
22nd - Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx overdoses from Heroin
23rd - Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, serving a life sentence for attempted assassination of Pres Gerald R Ford escapes from Alderson Prison
25th - Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, who escaped 2 days earlier, recaptured
26th - "Les Miserables" opens at National Theatre of Iceland, Reykjavik
27th - Steve Largent sets all-time NFL record for career catches when he catches his 752nd pass
27th - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
28th - In Arkansas R Gene Simmons kills 2, later bodies of 14 of his relatives are found at his home near Dover Ark
30th - Australia hang on for draw v NZ at MCG, 1 wkt left 17 runs short
30th - Premier Mugabe elected president of Zimbabwe

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