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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Kid's and candy canes.


When I was little, the Portuguese half of my family had huge get togethers at my Uncle Johnnies place out in the country on Tully Road. He and my Aunt Dot had a huge spread. Acres and acres of walnut orchards surrounded the corrals and a huge hay barn and stable. Johns favorite saddle horse Goldie, (she was a Palomino), called that magical whitewashed rough sawn outbuilding "home". She was a great horse and I remember vividly, the occasional treat of helping saddle her up and "taking her for a spin". And there were also the obligatory cattle, chickens, rabbits and other standard barn yard fare present. The spread is gone now, long since transformed into a subdivision in the City of San Jose, but the memories remain.
 
Another of my fond memories at Dot and Johnnies are of Christmas's past. Every year a huge Christmas tree occupied most of the living room of their 19th century farm house. It was decorated with bubbling antique ornaments that I now know were blown in Germany a half century before my young mind marveled over them.


And it was trimmed with lead tinsel (that would melt if you held it next to a light bulb when the adults weren't paying attention). It was also festooned with candy canes. Now mind you, these weren't the run of the mill red and white candy canes like we had at home. No sirree, these were colorful. The ones that really caught my eye were the red and orange ones. Not sure why, since they tasted like the "standard issue" red and white ones, but the red and orange ones were special to me.
 



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I'd recently been in contact with a person that had a whiskey bottle, but they couldn't really describe it in detail, and couldn't take decent pictures of it. Now I knew that the bottle said Jesse Moore (along with a bunch of other stuff) and it had antlers on it, but that was about the long and short of it. Uncle John wasn't a gambler, but on occasion, he'd stray out of his comfort zone. He used to say, "Columbus took a chance"... Another old saying in the family that I've always liked, is that "you pay your dues and you takes your chances".

And so I did. Imagine my surprise a couple of days ago when Christmas came early.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


Like those candy canes of nearly sixty years ago, the bottle was swirled with red and orange. And like the ornaments, it was from Germany. Funny how some things in life come full circle. A friend who saw the bottle asked what I planned on doing with it, hoping that he'd be the proud new owner.







 
My reply; "I think I'll hang onto it, to remind me of Uncle Johnnie, Aunt Dot, and Christmas past".

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