Archive for December, 2017

Dick Summer Connection

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

Your Christmas memories please. Send them to Dick@DickSummer.com for this blog and the regular podcasts. Here’s one from my Lady Wonder Wench. 

We had real glass ornaments on our tree at home … musical instruments of all kinds … and a stuffed Santa Claus which somehow lost an arm but always held onto our tree with the other one.  I’ll tell you a story about that Santa:  my folks gave him to me and my Louie-Louie Lad and I hung him every Christmas, until my dad died.  When it came time to do as Walter, my dad had asked and give his ashes to the ocean, Dick took him flying one last time, along with that by then totally bedraggled santa, and let them both sail free over the water. We had one musical instrument left and I sent it to my younger brother.  I don’t know whether he kept it.  I wish I had …Now we have a few glass balls left from when I was very little.  I think we will save them until our little Cecelia is old enough to understand and give them to her. Christmas memories are so very real …

Dick Summer Connection

Saturday, December 16th, 2017

Thanks for sending your Christmas notes for this blog, and the regular podcasts to Dick@DickSummer.com . Here’s a note from me. The Salvation Army volunteers are out again this year, some of them are bravely blowing trumpets right into the winter wind, and others just ringing a little bell and smiling.  They don’t do it for pay.  They do it for Christmas.  For some folks passing by, that Salvation Army Volunteer’s smile is the only smile they’ll see on a real person that day. One winter a long time ago, the Salvation Army rescued Christmas for a little girl by seeing to it that she had a doll and a good turkey dinner. That little girl grew up to become my beautiful Lady Wonder Wench.  Hey Christmas, thank you for taking care of her that year…before I knew her.

Dick Summer Connection

Friday, December 15th, 2017

Still time to get your Christmas thoughts in for these blogs, or the regular podcasts. Please send them to Dick@DickSummer.com Here’s one from a few years ago that I think about from time to time all year long. I think it was from Proud Podcast Person, “Betsy.” 

Whenever I’m disappointed with my spot in life, I stop and think about little Jamie Scott. Jamie was trying out for a part in the school Christmas play. His mother told me that he’d set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen. On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement.. ‘Guess what, Mom,’ he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me….’I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer.’

Dick Summer Connection

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Please send your Christmas thoughts to Dick@DickSummer.com for use here and on the podcasts. Here’s another example of what you remember best about Christmas From Proud Podcast Participant “Don”:

Here we are with another Christmas coming fast. But have we taken a moment to stop and think what this holiday really means? I know I haven’t. It’s that time of year where we can all stop and smile at stranger and they don’t wonder if you’re about to mug them.

I think we all need to take a step back from all the hype and the ads that say buy this or that. I’ve found myself wondering what Virginia would say if she were alive today? I’ve read the letter she wrote to the newspaper. Would she write it again? All I know is that Christmas means reaching out to someone who needs the help or might be hungery for a hug or a kind word. Have we become so jaded over time that all we can believe in is ourselves?  Josh Groban did a song for the movie Polar Express, all it said was you need to believe in the magic of the holiday. The tree in your living room with all the decorations collected over the years. Some because they have a special meaning or some because they are pretty. The yule log burning in the fireplace. I remember how hard it was for me to sleep on the eve of Christmas, or how I thought I heard sleigh bell softly ringing in the night. Opening the little gifts in the stocking. We need to believe in something bigger than the commercial side of the holiday and hope for snow on Christmas Eve. As a member of the Louie Louie Generation I will always believe in the softer and gentler things of Christmas. I hope the sleigh bell never stops ringing. For those who have loved ones in harms way overseas, my hope for them is to come home to you soon. I say that as one who served. May we all get those gifts that we truly want.

Dick Summer Connection

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Thank you for sending your Christmas/Hanakah/Solstice/Quanza memories for this blog and the podcasts. I’m not sure about this one from Proud Podcast Participant Bill. But hey…Who knows ?

As a joke, my brother Mike used to hang a pair of panty hose over his fireplace before Christmas. He said all he wanted was for Santa to fill them. What they say about Santa checking the list twice must be true, because every Christmas morning, although Mike’s kids stockings were always full, his poor panty hose never was. One year, I decided to make his Christmas wish come true. I put on a pair of sunglasses, and slinked into the neighborhood “Adult bookstore.” I decided to buy a standard, uncomplicated inflatable lady, that could also substitute as a fake passenger in my car, so I could use the car pool lane during the rush hour. I settled for a doll called “Loveable Lara.” On Christmas Eve, with the help of a bicucle pump, Lara came to life. My sister in law was in on the plan, and let me in during the week morning hours. I filled Mike’s dangling panty hose with Lara’s legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies, and drank a glass of milk left out on a nearby table. Mike called me in the morning to tell me that Santa had finally made his wish come true, and to accuse me of having something to do with it. He said the only problem with Lara, was that she confused the dog, who kept coming over, looking at the pantyhose and bark, start to walk away, and come back and bark some more. We all agreed that Lara should remain in her panty hose so the rest of the family could admire her when they came over for dinner. My Grandmother noticed Lara as soon as she walked in the door, and said, “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?” My brother explained that it was just a doll. “WHERE ARE HER CLOTHES ? WHY DOESN’T SHE HAVE ANY TEETH? I considered answering her questions, but I didn’t want to have to spend Christmas riding in the back of an ambulance, saying “Hang on Grandma, hang on.” My Grandfather, a great guy with bad eyesight, sidled up to me and said, “Hey Bill, who’s the naked lady by the fireplace ?” I told him she was Mike’s friend. A few minutes later, I noticed him over by the fireplace, flirting with Lara. It was then that I realized that this might be Grandpa’s last Christmas at home. The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died, who was dying, and who should be killed, when suddenly Lara made a noise like you often hear from a bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched from the fireplace, flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the TV. The cat screamed, I passed some cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran over, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth to mouth resuscitation. Mike fell off his chair. Granny threw down her napkin, stomped out of the room, and sat in the car.

Later we discovered that Lara had suffered a puncture from a hot ember on the back of her left leg. Fortunately, with the aid of a wonder drug called Duct tape, we restored her to perfect health, so she can be with us to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Dick Summer Connection

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Lots of your Christmas stories coming in. (Please send yours to Dick@DickSummer.com) And check out what this is all about at DickSummer.com/podcast Here’s an especially important one from Proud Podcast Participant Bob Conklin.

Hi Dick

I am going to attempt to put this set of memories to paper. It is not a single story per say but rather a collection of what I remember. I say attempt because I suffer from that affliction that I suspect most of us Louie Louie generation men suffer from, the one that tends to cause excessive moisture to collect over the lens of your eye blocking the ability to see the text clearly. Here goes:

My dad was a firefighter for the City of White Plains, NY where I was born and raised. Being in that job meant that there was more then a good chance he would have to work on Christmas as well as my birthday, New Years day and any other holiday you care to mention. As an aside his birthday was December 24th so that meant he generally had to work his birthday too. Dad made sure the 3 kids and mom, my older brother and sister then later on my baby sister who never made it to her first birthday, always would go to Christmas Eve services. Our church held a true midnight service, where the Christmas story was told and at the stroke of midnight Silent Night was sung with the pipe organ quietly playing along. We held candles and sang our hearts out. Our church used real candles on the alter and in the pews. As I grew older I remember that the city told our church that in order to keep using real candles they would have to have a Firefighter in church to monitor the service. I can still see my dad working his magic to arrange his shift to make sure he was at church for the service before heading back to the station so finish out his shift. Dad never let on that it was he who would request that assignment because for as long as I can remember he was the dispatcher and that was a job that not all firefighters could do. Looking back now that he is gone, I am saddened that I never said thank you to him for doing what he could do to be near us even though he was working to serve our city. (There it is that affliction I mentioned earlier) On the rare times that he did not have to work, he would still wear his dress uniform and take us all in the old Chevy to church and secretly smile to the firefighter that was on duty while dad would hold my hand.

Damn its hard to type through the tears that always come.

Merry Christmas Dick!

Dick Summer Connection

Monday, December 11th, 2017

Looking for your Christmas stories for use here and in the podcasts. Our resident funny “Church Lady” is Ms. Many Waters. She is a proud pod person of the nth degree. She sent this to dick@dicksummer.com. It’s not strictly a Christmas story, but your fruitcake will come squirting out of your nose by the end of it.

The sermon this morning: ‘Jesus Walks on the Water.’ The sermon tonight: ‘Searching for Jesus.’
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Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
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Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say ‘Hell’ to someone who doesn’t care much about you.
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Don’t let worry kill you off – let the Church help.
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Miss Charlene Mason sang ‘I will not pass this way again,’ giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
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For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
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Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
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Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
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A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
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At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be ‘What Is Hell?’ Come early and listen to our choir practice.
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Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
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Scouts are saving aluminium cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
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Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.
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The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.
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Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM – prayer and medication to follow.
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The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
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This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church.

Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
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Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM . All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done. ————————–
The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
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Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.
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The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
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Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
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The Associate Minister unveiled the church’s new campaign slogan last Sunday: ‘I Upped My Pledge – Up Yours.

Dick Summer Connection

Sunday, December 10th, 2017
Please send your Christmas thoughts for this blog, and the podcasts to Dick@DickSummer.com . Here’s one from Inger Battiato that just came in:

I can’t remember the last time I was with my Children around the Christmas Tree… I miss that very much… And now… it would be wonder- ful to spend time with my grandchildren around the tree! My story is that 1st Christmas in 1966 that I spent with my Children’s Father… Week’s before… I asked my mother what she would like me to buy for her? … She told me she so desparately wanted a new Rocking Chair… It definitely was time… I remember she wore it out… after all, that’s where she spent most of her time… morning, noon and night… that’s where you could find her… I asked when I could drive her to wherever she chose for me to purchase it… I knew it had to fit into my busy schedule… I did work 2 jobs at the time and told her I wanted her to have it by Christmas morning… that’s when she proceeded to explain to me her wonderful idea… she claimed it wasn’t important for her to have it on Christmas morning… Always being the bargain hunter… she felt it necessary to tell me that if I waited until after Christmas… I would get a cost discount… she explained to me that Fortunoffs on Penn- sylvania in Brooklyn had already mailed out “After Christmas Sales” that were a trememdous saving… she asked me how much I would be willing to pay for her rocking chair (and since this was going to be my very 1st purchase of said item) my response to her was “… I couldn’t say, but naturally I would pay whatever it took…”! … she thereupon in- formed me she was prepared to enjoy an expensive one and I should be grateful for paying a discount… I explained to her that if she was unable to open a Christmas Present from me (like all the rest of the Family)… I would feel extremely uncom- fortable… she told me not to worry because that was her decision… Christmas Morning arrived… All the other membèrs of my Family (my Father, two sisters, brother, niece and nephew… my brother-in-law was not to be found… he had already deserted my sister and their children)… my mother, in a very loud voice… in front of everyone… demanded to know where her gift from me was… I reminded her of her special request… that was the last words spoken between my mother and myself for the remainder of the Christmas Day in 1966… I spent a good portion of my day in my paja- mas crying in my room… to make things worse… Louie told me that because he had to work on Christmas Day… He would not be able to see me (It wasn’t until many yr’s. later, I found out He lied… He had to spend most of that day with His parents… and the wife and daughter He had… which I had no idea He had… He never even mentioned their existence… I guess since He had already left them and moved back home wifh His parents… He didn’t feel the necessity to inform me until the day I moved out of my parent’s apartment)… when I received a phone call from Him telling me He completed His work earlier than expected… and was hoping I didn’t mind seeing Him momentarily on such short notice… Naturally since I felt this wonderful man had no idea I was more than thrilled to get out… I didn’t care what time it was… He just saved the day… it was like a gift that He just freed the slaves… Well He came and picked me up in no time (by the way… He brought me a Beautiful Christmas Gift and He loved the one I gave Him)… He asked if I wanted to go anywhere in particular and I told Him it didn’t really matter… as long as it was far away from my mother so He drove to Sheepshead Bay and as soon as we arrived the snow had begun to fall as we walked along the Dock… it was too Beautiful to ever for- get… and I probably never will!

 

Dick Summer Connection

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

Please send your Christmas thoughts for this blog and the podcasts to Dick@DickSummer.com. Here’s one that came in last year that will ring a sleigh bell for a lot of us. it’s from John Gfroerer. He calls it, “THE GIFT”

It is a funny thing how Christmas gifts work.  Most shine bright for a bit, but eventually begin to fade, and even lose their attachment to the Holiday from which they came.  But I have one that still holds on.  It takes me back more years than I remember.  I was young when I got it, I know that, maybe twelve or thirteen.  It was the time in my life when I wanted to drive fast cars.  I had a little shop down in the basement, John’s Speed Shop was the name over the door.  I was a subscriber to Hot Rod Magazine, and the time when I would be able to drive a car seemed centuries away.  My parents were not interested in these dreams of mine.  I don’t know what they had in mind for me, but auto mechanics and fast cars was not on their list.  But my oldest brother saw things from a different window.  So it was that one year for Christmas he gave me a 15 piece 1/4” socket set.  It was small, compact in its bright red metal case, and all the pieces were shiny chrome plated.  There were ten sockets, a ratchet, two extenders, a flex piece, and a straight driver with a yellow plastic handle, like a screw driver.  At that moment in time this set was beyond even being considered for my Christmas list. Now my oldest brother and I live miles apart.  We haven’t seen each other on Christmas in maybe forty years.  And I couldn’t say when the last time we exchanged gifts. Let’s just say it has been a while.  As brothers go, we are not particularly close.  His politics appall me, maybe even more than mine appall him.  We don’t have a lot in common except some DNA, a set of parents and siblings, and over sixty years of being in each others lives. But that socket set is out in my garage. In fact, I used it just a couple weeks ago. The red paint is a little chipped and worn. The case doesn’t close as perfectly as it once did.  One or two of the sockets may be missing. But the ratchet still works and that yellow plastic handle still feels perfect in my hand.  The set is without dispute, the thing I have owned the longest that makes me think of Christmas and brother Pete every time I use it. 

Dick Summer Connection

Friday, December 8th, 2017

Please send your Christmas thoughts to Dick@DickSummer.com for this blog and the podcasts. Here’s another one from one of my favorite Proud Podcast People, Carole:     I wanted to share a story about a gentleman who goes by the name of “Jim Rockford”, who was and is a biker. Only now, he spends his time giving back as Santa Claus. Much like the gentleman in your story who helped a dying boy cross over, Jim spends his time visiting Shriner hospitals, regular hospitals, and all kinds of venues where he can bring cheer, joy,and happiness to young and old alike. He lives in Florida, and gets to his gigs on his “sleigh” – a bright red Harley which has been outfitted with LED reindeer horns on the front which light up, LED candy canes and miniature Christmas trees which do the same on the back. He’s also set up a loudspeaker system so he can do his “HO,HO, HO” while on the bike. He spends most of the year preparing for this Season,and he is a most creative fellow. He built a”Santa Chair” big enough for him to sit in and comfortably have a child or two sit on his lap. He’s created cards and “money” which he gives out. One of them says “caught being good”, while another grants wishes. He also has a warm weather outfit to wear. His hair and beard are spectacular. Check him out on Facebook. He shares many photos with his FB friends, and one thing really stood out to me. He had an infant on his lap, and she was looking raptly up at him, with a faint smile on her face. Many times, little ones are terrified of “Santa”. I have always said that you can’t fool children and animals about people – who is really good and who isn’t. I think that was a perfect example. Jim was a rough and tough biker most of his life – but he has mellowed so very much. He was in a bad accident on his bike not so long ago, but he soldiers on – and this is his way of doing good and giving back. I am including a link to that photo and I hope it comes through.

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