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Santa Knew J.C. Higgins
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« on: May 02, 2008, 03:59:08 PM »

November 27, 2005
It was somewhere around 1946 and the boy lived on County Home Road in a small white house just below Green Hills Cemetery. His folks got a break on the rent for keeping an eye on the road that led up the hill and locking the cemetery gate every night.

This turned out to be his job and sometimes it was scary right after sunset since everybody knew that's when the vampires came out. It was close to Christmas and he had just listened to "Superman" who was flying around the Moon turning back time. He rode each side of the steel gate to the middle, shut the lock and shivered in the cold North Carolina air. As he walked back down the road, he looked  up and saw Superman still flying around the Moon.

He never doubted it for a second.

He was 8 years old. His family was Baptist and he had been saved more often than a ration book. When he grew up, he thought his childhood was a typical Southern cliche but that didn't change the pain. His mother was the daughter of a preacher and his daddy was a part time drunk working toward a permanent situation. It wasn't all bad as it was sad knowing that his dad must not love him.

It was the Saturday night before Christmas and the coal stove that separated the living room from the dining was keeping out the chill. His dad had the 4-11PM shift at the Enka Rayon plant so he and his mother were alone.  He was sitting on the couch staring at the old Philco which had 8 station buttons and right then, it was on WSM and the "Grand Ole' Opry" was bouncing from Nashville to Asheville. Red Foley and Minnie Pearl were having a good time as he lay on the couch and closed his eyes. She tapped his shoulder in a little while and handed him a slice of her chocolate pie which was the best in the whole world. She looked tired but smiled as he wolfed it down.

It became Christmas Eve and he always worried because there was no fireplace or chimney so they left the key under the mat so Santa could get in. He hoped Santa would bring him a bike and had hoped for a Schwinn. His mom took him to the Sears and Roebuck store one day and showed him a red bicycle with the name J.C. Higgins. Then she showed him a ballglove with the same name as well as a boy's jacket.  After that she drove by the Schwinn store and told him that all they had were bicycles but Santa knew J.C. Higgins who made EVERYTHING.

As dreams sometimes do, his wish for snow was answered... so much piled on the porch bannister's and you could see the colors of the tree lights reflecting through the window onto the icy surface. As it happened every year, he had trouble catching his breath when he saw the milk and cookies were gone....and the key was right by the glass.

And next to the tree was a red bicycle. Hanging off one handlebar was a ballglove and on the other was a black jacket.

You. of course, know what was on each of them.

Santa knew J.C. Higgins.

He never doubted it for a second.

Ron Lyons

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