Christmas

Old Charlie had been without children for forty years.
He had been without a wife for seven.
He had been retired for five.
He was a silent and uncommunicative man by nature - but something had happened during the previous October.
On Halloween of that year, while Old Charlie was sitting at home in careful contemplation of his daily newspaper, suddenly there came a tapping...
...as of someone gently rapping...
His neighbor's son, who was all of seven years old, and who had been expressly told not to bother Old Charlie on Halloween, knocked on Old Charlie's door. In spite of the fact that Old Charlie's house had been dark on Halloween for forty years, still this young man came a'tapping - as though driven by some animus of old forgotten lore
'Tis some visitor Charles muttered, only this and nothing more
Old Charlie opened the door and looked out straight, expecting some tallish interruption to his solitary life
And then he looked down
To see this seven year old child with eyes as big as the full moon looking up to him and saying,
"Trick or treat."
"Only this and nothing more?", sayeth Old Charlie.
"Sir?", says the young supplicant.
"Forget it, son. There is no balm in Gilead."
"Sir?"
"I have nothing for you", says Old Charlie.
The shrug of disappointment on the young boy's shoulders spoke to him from a different time.
"Wait!", Old Charlie said, would you like a piece of wood?
"A piece of wood, Sir?", says the boy.
"Yes, to make a toy from, or some other thing.", Old Charlie said.
"I don't know how to make a toy, Sir. Could you show me?"
"Nevermore.", says Old Charlie. "Nevermore."
"Sir?"
(to be continued...)
Regards,
Tom Watson
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 /
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Thanks very much for posting! Looking forward to the next installment! Andy
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"

Well hurry the hell up!
Merry Christmas, Tom. And all the rest of you wreckers, too.
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Don't you have a list of friends that you can send this stuff to?
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Mosquito - shotgun
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When did you get here? Tom has been posting his stories, which many of us think quite well done, for years. Simple solution: if you don't like it, kill file him. Otherwise, get on with your life.
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Yea.... give the guy a break. It's not as if he's writing about his fantasies of boffing Hillary....
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Robatoy said:

Don't give 'em any ideas... ;-)
Greg G.
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Robatoy wrote:
... snip

Oh, thanks for *that* mental image.
[mutter, mutter, where did I leave that brain bleach? mutter mutter, rummage]
--
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

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Been here a long, long, long time.
If you don't like my messages please feel free to killfile me.
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Frank Drackman said:

Ah, the camaraderie, the holiday spirit, the abject grace and compassion. That's what's so great about the wrec. :-\
Happy Holidays, folks. From a fellow curmudgeon.
Greg G.
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wrote in message

Now that's the spirit!
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Roy pulls his big over stuffed chair up closer to the fireplace and intently listens to the Master and tries not to hear the termites in the background. How small they are yet try to make such big noises.
Go on Tom, I'm listening
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Yet another to put in my "The Writings of Tom Watson" collection.
While Walt Akers is very good at activating the Funny Bone, you sir are able to touch the soul - in addition to weaving interesting tales of of the exploits of Nowrecki, old salts, memorable wakes and what not.
Once again, thank you sir.
charlie b
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Tom, may you and yours have the best Christmas and New Years ever.
And that goes for all the rest of you wooddorkers too.     mahalo,     jo4hn
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"Tom Watson" wrote

Thank you for that, Tom ... looking forward to the sequel. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 12/14/07
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Old Charlie had been without children for forty years.
He had been without a wife for seven.
He had been retired for five.
He was a silent and uncommunicative man by nature - but something had happened during the previous October.
On Halloween of that year, while Old Charlie was sitting at home in careful contemplation of his daily newspaper, suddenly there came a tapping...
...as of someone gently rapping...
His neighbor's son, who was all of seven years old, and who had been expressly told not to bother Old Charlie on Halloween, knocked on Old Charlie's door. In spite of the fact that Old Charlie's house had been dark on Halloween for forty years, still this young man came a'tapping - as though driven by some animus of old forgotten lore
'Tis some visitor Charles muttered, only this and nothing more
Old Charlie opened the door and looked out straight, expecting some tallish interruption to his solitary life
And then he looked down
To see this seven year old child with eyes as big as the full moon looking up to him and saying,
"Trick or treat."
"Only this and nothing more?", sayeth Old Charlie.
"Sir?", says the young supplicant.
"Forget it, son. There is no balm in Gilead."
"Sir?"
"I have nothing for you", says Old Charlie.
The shrug of disappointment on the young boy's shoulders spoke to him from a different time.
"Wait!", Old Charlie said, would you like a piece of wood?
"A piece of wood, Sir?", says the boy.
"Yes, to make a toy from, or some other thing.", Old Charlie said.
"I don't know how to make a toy, Sir. Could you show me?"
"Nevermore.", says Old Charlie. "Nevermore."
"Sir?"
Old Charlie looked at the boy for a bit then hunkered down to look him in the eye, accompanied by the snap crackle and pop of his ruined knees:
"When I had boys your age I'd give them beautiful pieces of wood for Halloween and we'd spend the time between then and Christmas making presents for Eleanor."
"Eleanor, Sir?"
"Not with us these seven Hallow's Eves."
"Sir?"
"Would you like to make a Christmas present for your Mum?
"Oh yes Sir!"
"Wait here a minute."
Old Charlie re-erected himself, staggering a bit while his joinery popped crackled and snapped back into place. He went into the house.
The boy waited patiently until he returned.
"This is satinwood. See how it sparkles in the light?"
"It's very beautiful Sir."
"And this is rosewood, says Old Charlie, see how it sets off the satinwood?"
"But - what should I do with them, Sir?"
"Put them in your bag and come back on saturday."
"Yes Sir. On saturday, Sir."
Old Charlie never expected to see the boy again but he felt content with the giving.
"Beats the hell out of more candy", he thought to himself. He watched the boy go down the steps. He thought a bit. He closed the door.
Saturday dawned crisp and clear - and loud - with Old Charlie's door set to rattling on its hinges.
"I hope I didn't wake you, Sir", said the small apparition on Old Charlie's porch.
"It's eight o'clock, young man!"
"Yes Sir. I'm sorry Sir."
(Old Charlie hadn't slept later than five in nearly seventy years)
"Not a bit of it. Shop has always opened at eight."
"Yes Sir!"
They walked together to the clapboard garage behind the house where Old Charlie kept his shop.
"It's sort of spooky Sir", said the young boy on seeing all of the yellowed sheets shrouding Old Charlie's long disused equipment.
"We'll change that quick - now bear a hand."
They removed the covers from the tools, Old Charlie grumbling at the rust. When they were done the shop looked pretty much as it had seven years before, when Old Charlie had last done any work.
And in the intervening time 'tween then and Christmas Eve both old and young enjoyed the snug and cheerful confines of the woodshop.
Old Charlie taught and listened and the young boy listened and learned.
"Where did they go, Mr. Charlie?"
"Beg pardon?", said Old Charlie, bent to his task of mixing up the stain.
"Where did your sons go, Mr. Charlie?"
"They live on the other side of the country."
"But - don't you miss them - at Christmas, I mean?"
"They both have jobs and families of their own. It's hard for them to come so far, this time of year. Here now, take this rag and wipe it down."
"It's so beautiful, Mr. Charlie!", said the boy, as he and Old Charlie looked at the finished jewelry box the boy and he had made.
"You should be proud, Jimmy." "Your Mum should be proud, too."
'Twas the Night Before Christmas when Old Charlie and Young Jimmy finished their labors.
Old Charlie gave Young Jimmy the set of hand tools that he had been working with for the last weeks. Young Jimmy said, " Thank you so much for these and for showing me how to make things, Mr. Charlie. I have to bring you my present tomorrow."
Charlie figured the boy had been caught out and would have to scramble for a present to return - to save face. It didn't matter.
"Let me know how she likes it, Jimmy - and Merry Christmas!", said Old Charlie to Young Jimmy, who cradled his creation as he walked down the steps and off to his home next door.
"Merry Christmas to you too, Mr. Charlie! I'll let you know tomorrow!"
Old Charlie waved to the boy. Thought for a bit - and walked back into his house.
Came Christmas morning and his door was set again to rattling.
Old Charlie flung it open.
"So how did your Mum like the...", Old Charlie said, looking down for the boy but seeing instead four largish shoes attached to four largish legs attached to two tallish apparitions. And next to them - Young Jimmy.
"Merry Christmas, Mr. Charlie!", said Young Jimmy.
"I hope you like my presents."
"They're from the other side of the country!"
...and to all a Good Night!
Merry Christmas from the Watson Family to my friends on the Wreck! Regards,
Tom Watson
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 /
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Tom, Great story. Thanks for posting it. May your family an the Wreck family enjoy the season. Warmest regards. Joe G
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You still know how to bring a tear to the eye, Tom.
Merry Christmas, and all the best for ought-eight.
--
Help improve usenet. Kill-file Google Groups.
http://improve-usenet.org /
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