Sunday, December 25, 2005

It's All David Matthew's Fault

It was all David Matthews’ fault. Maybe he should not have done it. Or maybe he should have. Anyway, he did and that’s why it was entirely his fault. But let me start at the beginning.

When school turned out for the Christmas Holidays in December 1941, my parents took me to Dr. Bybee’s office in downtown Beaumont to have my tonsils removed. Evidently this was the perfect time for kids to have a tonsillectomy because they could avoid missing school time. I recall seeing all the beautiful Christmas decorations. Christmas lights of various colors were strung across Pearl and Orleans Streets. Both of these were two-way streets in those days. There were policemen at every intersection blowing whistles and directing the madhouse Christmas traffic.

A few days after having my tonsils taken out, Ms. Ruth Hill, my first grade teacher, stopped by the house to visit. She gave me a little red toy fire truck for a “sick present.” I loved it. She knew I would. Forty years later my wife and I visited Ms. Hill at the hospital in Beaumont. She lived to be in her 90’s. I gave her a little red toy fire truck for a “sick present.” She loved it. I knew she would. Were those tears in her eyes? I know there were in mine.

But back to David Matthews. He and I were first graders together. Also we were neighbors. Both of us were pretty excited because Christmas was right around the corner. We were expecting lots of gifts, otherwise known as toys.

And then it happened. David and I were playing at his house one afternoon. I mentioned how that my dad was going to make sure that Santa received a list of the things I wanted for Christmas. David said, “Don’t you know that there’s no such thing as Santa Claus?” I stared at David while a thousand thoughts raced through my head. Had David fallen and hit his head on something? Was he all right?

Well, after much consideration and adjusting of life’s concepts, I accepted the reality that my parents had been enjoying the Santa game at my expense. At least that was my first inclination. So I decided to play a game with them. In other words I was going to watch for a chance to get even.

I kept this new information to myself and watched as my parents went through the motions of telling me to be good so that Santa Claus would come to our house, etc. We had several gifts under the tree already but they told me that Santa would bring more gifts for Christmas morning.

Finally Christmas morning rolled around. I jumped up early and went to wake up my parents. My mother opened one eye and told me to go check under the Christmas tree to see if Santa had come. I checked and sure enough there were several gifts that had not been there the night before. Then a little “light of mischief” entered my mind. I returned to my parents bedroom and informed them in sad tone that, “Yes, Santa came but he didn’t leave anything. In fact he took what was already there. Now there’s nothing under the tree.”
My mother popped up out of bed really fast. Even my dad grunted. Well, they found out that I played a trick on them. All the stuff was still there under the tree. But now they knew that I knew who Santa Claus really was. My mom scolded me for giving her such a scare.

I told her simply, “It’s all David Matthews’ fault.”

Winston Hamby



Blogger Lynn  said...

Hey Hamby, this is Lynn Money. My daughter Cheryl referred to your daughter's blog about Target. Sherilyn got to searching, and found your blog. Brought back a lot of memories of Lovington, Hobbs, Roswell, Big Spring. We are in Odessa, have been since we left Hobbs in 1974 with the exception of 16 months we were in Amarillo in 1979-80. My daughter's blog is We have 2, moneyfamily and lynnandsherilyn both on blogspot. I'll be watching for the thought each day or whatever.

Sat Jan 21, 07:06:00 PM 2006  

Post a Comment

<< Home