Christmas is probably the one word that triggers more memories than any other word in the dictionary. I know that my grandmothers have told me many times about their growing up and how different Christmas was during those times. There weren’t tons of presents under the tree. There weren’t lights dangling off of each tree branch or on any houses. People didn’t run around willy-nilly stressing over what they were going to give someone. Money was scarce during those times. Trees were cut down from someone’s pasture. They were usually cedar and decorated with a few hand-made ornaments and maybe some popcorn or cranberries that were strung together with a needle and thread. It was a treat to wake up Christmas morning to find a stocking filled with a couple of pieces of fruit and nuts, and if you were really lucky you might reach down a little farther into your stocking and find a toy truck or a doll accompanied by a piece of candy. That was the extent of the gift-giving during the 1920s and 1930s. My, how things have changed during the last 80 years. But happiness isn’t always measured by what you get. During all of the hustle and bustle we tend to forget the two most important reasons of this season … Jesus’ birth and spending time with your family.
One of my favorite childhood memories of Christmas was cutting down our own Christmas tree. We would usually go over to Mrs. Velma Pippin’s place, all bundled up, and walk through her pasture searching for a tree that was not too tall, not too short, and not too big around. The cold wind would wisp across my face and eyes until I could barely see. Momma would end up having to carry me part of the way. After we finally found the right tree (usually cedar), Daddy would cut it down and drag it across the pasture to put in the back of his truck and haul home. I just knew that when the tree was in the house and decorated it wouldn’t be long at all until Christmas.
If anyone has any Christmas memories that they would like to share, please feel free to e-mail or call me. I would love to include them in next week’s column. Even if you don’t want me to mention your name, I can still include your special Christmas memory.
Well friends, two individuals that have been known for years in our community have passed away. Please remember the families of Luke Mooney and Vivian Mabe.
Luke Elmo Mooney was born south of Brashear on April 4, 1923, the son of Henry D. and Claudia E. Mooney. Luke’s family lived between Miller Grove and Brashear on what was known as “Mooney’s Hump.” Luke entered Miller Grove school system when he was in the 6th grade and graduated from our school in 1941. After graduating, he attended Texas A&M University at College Station. He also served in the armed forces during World War II. Luke married Erma Lee in 1947. While living in Dallas he joined the sheriff’s office in 1958. Luke was one of the men on duty when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Luke assisted in the search of the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building shortly after the assassination. Later in life he joined his wife, working at Superior Products Company as vice president of the company. Mr. Mooney was affiliated with several worthy organizations and was a member of First Baptist Church of Dallas. Luke passed away on Dec. 3, 2010. A private entombment was conducted at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home of Dallas. I will always have fond memories of Luke and Erma coming to Miller Grove Cemetery’s annual Memorial Day in May. Luke was a very friendly and outgoing person.
At the age of 100 years, 5 months, and 4 days, Vivian Odessa Mabe passed away at Carriage House Manor in Sulphur Springs on Thursday, Dec. 9. She was born July 5, 1910, to Walter and Essie M. (Patton) Watson. She married “Othie” Euell Mabe on Dec. 24, 1930. Mrs. Mabe had lived in the neighboring Center Point community for many years. Mrs. Mabe was also an active member in the Center Point Baptist Church throughout the 1940s and 1950s. With the help of her family, she was able to live at home until only a few months before her passing. Her family includes one son, Larry Mabe and wife, Lana, of Greenview and a daughter, Chrysteen Watts and husband, James, of Greenville. Her grandchildren that live in the area are Bart Millsap, Regina Strickland, Vicki Lee, Eric Mabe and Lance Mabe. Mrs. Mabe is also survived by several great- and great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by Mr. Mabe, her parents, several siblings and her oldest daughter, Sylvia (Mabe) Millsap. Burial took place in Brashear Cemetery on Saturday, Dec. 11.
Good news — after two long years, Miller Grove Cemetery’s Historical Marker has been installed. If you get a chance, stop by the cemetery and read the inscription on the plaque.
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