Wingzofsteel Adventures and Reviews

Epic Motorcycle Camping Adventures

A Simple Christmas Story

with 7 comments

I walked into my mothers kitchen’ to pour myself a drink

I reach my hand for a drinking glass stored right next to the sink.

When I open the old cupboard door and there standing in a line

Stood six old colored ice tea glasses like six old friends of mine.

They are made with colored metal, now scratched and worn with years

Of gracing our family’s table through happiness and tears.

I stood there for a moment and this I promise you,

Could not remember when they were all shinny and brand new.

In fact, I can’t remember a time when our table was not ornate

with those colored metal glasses standing in front of our plate.

For over 50 years it seems they’ve been standing, I never knew their history!

I then thought about our growing up years (amid their mystery).

As a child, I always would reach for the blue one, at times when I had the choice

And Mitch would want the green one; I can still hear his little voice

“Gimme that geen gass and pease don’t fill it with tea,

cause it will make my skin turn yeawo (yellow), Uncle Junior said to me”!

Mike would take the purple glass and hold it with both hands around.

The ice would rattle inside the glass when he turned it upside down.

And one time in front of Jeffrey’s plate was standing glass of Red

when Jeffrey took a plate of  macaroni and cheese and dumped it on his head.

We whooped and howled at that one and with laughter all abound

Daddy said “ I’m gonna remind you boys we are at the table, If I hear  another sound”.

Linda would drink from the Silver one, in her very calming way

And would talk to us about what went on while we in the field that day.

Then Lisa was born when I was twelve and made our home complete

She sat right next to mama in her special little seat.

And when the time came she was old enough the gold glass was hers to use

She sang and laughed and clapped her hands and kept us all amused.

And every Saturday night was weenie night as far back as I can recall

when Daddy would cook them on the stove top there against the kitchen wall.

Hotdogs on a piece of white bread covered in slaw and onions cooked sweet,

The old colored glasses filled with a cold drink would make the meal complete.

I remember once after dinner time and before placing it in the sink,

I took the blue glass outside one time and gave Buster Brown a drink.

Oh, the years went by so quickly but our happiness would never slack

We would work hard the fields with our Dad or in the chicken-house out back.

But no matter where we worked we would come home as thirsty as can be

And pour into those metal glasses my mother’s sweet ice tea.

And sadly, I remember when Linda went to college; the day when she left home,

The silver glass stood by itself in the cupboard all alone.

Then soon thereafter I left too, when it was time to find my way

It was hard to leave my family behind as I really wished to stay.

So the cupboard became less empty with Mr. Silver glass, now shared with Mr. Blue

But soon Mitch joined the Army and so Mr. Green Glass stood there too.

When Mike left home for college trying hard to better himself,

the Purple glass stood with the others, there neatly on the shelf.

The Red glass lost its shine and now was dinged, bent and marred;

as Jeffrey would sometimes take it with him when he worked out in the yard.

And When Jeffrey left and moved away to that rickety old house in town,

Red glass would join the other ones and was hardly taken down.

Lisa Ellen grew up fast and to college she did go,

So Gold glass stood with the other ones now all together in a row.

So now as I look at them standing there, I just can’t help but smile

As I think about all the good times when we were all a child.

I think about the chatter and laughter we had with them,

I smiled at the little teeth marks you can still see there on the rim.

I then said, “Mama, I still do not know how and when they came to be!

I know it may sound trivial but it is an important thing to me”.

“Lonzo gave them to us”, my mother said to me still looking so forlorn

“ I do believe it was sometime after your brother Jeffrey was born”.

Well, I could not speak for a while, after hearing what Mama said,

I must admit I was taken back from the light on this she shed.

“It was such a precious gift from a most unexpected source”,

I could hear myself finally speak with a quiver in my voice.

You see, his name was Lonzo Tillman and from Session Hill he came.

He walked with a broom-handle walking stick as he was nearly lame.

His legs were bowed and twisted and, you know, he didn’t own a pair of shoes

I am sure he could find none that fit him well as his feet were crooked too.

But he worked for us in our tobacco field when summer came around,

Up and down each tobacco row throwing suckers on the ground.

From sun up to sun down he worked hard for us each day,

And you never heard him say anything in a derogatory way!

It was the year we lost our Grandpa the year that Grandpa died,

He must have seen the sadness on our hearts as many tears were cried.

And so it was on Christmas eve of Nineteen and fifty-nine

When Lonzo carried two paper wrapped presents with a bow made out of twine.

He gave one gift to Uncle Alvin; then one gift he gave to Dad.

Through the kindness you heard in his shaky voice, you could tell it made him glad.

He did not wait for them to open their gifts, he didn’t hang around

He shuffled back to his old rusted car, and headed back to town.

Daddy brought home the gift to Mama who slipped off the tobacco-string tie

and unwrapped the brown paper wrapper to uncover a box inside.

She opened it up so carefully and lifted the box to show…..

Six colored metal ice tea glasses all standing in a row.

Now, as I walk outside and look over yonder to our tobacco fields of old,

I think about a precious gift worth more to us than gold.

When I take a drink from the blue glass now it is to heaven I salute,

for welcoming this crippled old black man. A tear falls on my boot.

I realized he’s now there with my Dad and Uncle Alvin, and this there is no debate,

He’s walking with new shoes on and standing tall and straight.

I walked back to the kitchen and to Mama I thanked her so,

for sharing this simple story of a Christmas long ago.


Written by wingzofsteel

December 21, 2009 at 7:11 pm

7 Responses

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  1. excellent Perry….a tear fell from me as well!


    December 21, 2009 at 9:36 pm

  2. What a tremendous lesson in life! From his poverty, he gave us more than just a set of tin glasses. When all the time we thought Lonzo was pulling weeds …. he was actually sewing seeds.

    Thank you for restoring such a touching memory.

    God rest his weary soul.

    Mitchell Whaley

    December 21, 2009 at 10:55 pm

  3. I remember our colored metal glasses as well, but I never knew they came from Lonzo. I certainly remember him and old Lying Robert as daddy used to call him. Robert nicknamed me Question-Box – I suppose that was fitting at the time. Do you remember Robert??


    December 22, 2009 at 10:37 am

    • I learned about the great gift Lonzo gave us for the first time last November. I also remember Robert very well. Question box, hmmm, I like that.


      December 23, 2009 at 8:53 pm

  4. Thanks, Perry. Thanks, Lonzo wherever you are.

    Linda Gail

    December 22, 2009 at 11:14 am

  5. Beautiful…….

    Cindy Weber

    February 4, 2010 at 7:27 am

  6. Perry – your writing talent has me in awe! Always knew you were smart but never in a million years knew that you were so gifted in writing. Keep it up! Nancy

    Nancy Gowen Thornton

    June 9, 2010 at 6:51 pm

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