In the past, I have used my first column of the New Year to reflect on prior year’s columns. My column appears each week in the Tribune’s Sunday edition. Do the math; that is fifty-two columns a year. Clearly, it is challenging to come up with a fresh idea each time. However, my ideas come from a variety of sources, mainly experiences of the past and even those in recent years. I have reviewed my columns from 2023 and shall share thoughts from several of these columns today. These columns generated reactions and responses acknowledged through letters, e-mails and telephone calls. Join with me today as I resurrect a “bird’s eye view” of some columns that appeared last year. Perhaps a second trip back in the day will result from experiencing those fond memories again; fond memories that may bring smiles and perhaps a few tears.
Let us look at last month. I trust that these columns brought back fond memories of your holiday experiences of purchasing “Christmas trees,” “Believing in Santa Claus” and “Black Fridays.” Did you get a laugh at the story about a friend from Newark, New Jersey, as she and her father waited until Christmas Eve each year as the lots were about to close, to obtain their tree? At the eleventh hour, the cost of trees was reduced; sometimes the trees were being thrown away making it possible to get a free one. As was pointed out, this practice ended one year, when all of the unsold trees were cut into several pieces by the vendor and my friend was in tears, fearing no tree. Her father recognized her anguish and instructed her to gather up several branches to take home where he nailed them to a 2 x 4 for a Christmas tree that year. I suspect that this brought a number of chuckles.