By WVUA 23 Student Reporter Keith Huffman

NORTHPORT – Christmas is just around the corner, and local coffee drinkers at Northport’s City Café and Rama Jama’s in Tuscaloosa recently shared some of their cherished Christmas memories.

Jerry Thomas of Northport and Tuscaloosa resident John Hightower reminisced about Christmas experiences from their youths..

“Well, I was about 7, and I was hoping I’d get a bicycle from Santa, but I didn’t know if my parents could afford a bicycle,” Thomas recalled. “So I stayed awake most of Christmas Eve just wondering if I would. Got up before day, went in there, and my J. C. Higgins bicycle was right there by the tree.”

“My best trips were going to visit my grandparents up in Illinois around Christmastime,” Hightower said. “It was snowing, and I loved to go out and watch the ducks and geese flying overhead.”

Tuscaloosa resident Dovel Rock remembered the joy his sons felt one Christmas morning during the mid-1960s after he used a boot to make tracks from the fireplace to the Christmas tree on a Christmas Eve.

“So the next morning when the boys got up and came into the den, they started hollering, ‘Santa Clause! Santa Clause tracks!’ So that was pretty special to me.”

U.S. Army veteran George Hodgson of Tuscaloosa recalled how he was in Vietnam during the Christmas of 1971, during which he and others visited an orphanage in Saigon.

“And we took Christmas gifts and were able to intermingle with the orphans and let them know what Christmas is all about, to explain that Christ had been born as a savior,” Hodgon said. “And we had an opportunity to give them gifts and spend quite a bit of time with those orphan children there in Saigon.”

Another U.S. Army veteran, Tuscaloosa resident Jimmy Adams, reflected on his military service and a Christmas experience he had while in Skopje, Macedonia, during the mid-1990s. Adams remembered how he and others were going to have dinner at a tennis club in Skopje, and they all met a new acquaintance.

“Well, he turned out to be an American basketball player that was playing in the league in Macdeonia,” Adams said. “But he couldn’t get home either. So we were able to bring him over and meet a new friend. And it turned out to be a pretty special Christmas Eve.”

From Tuscaloosa City Councilman Eddie Pugh’s perspective, every Christmas is great, and this next one will be “the best.”

“You can’t beat Christmas,” Pugh said. “Every one’s better than the last.”

Categories: Local News