Christmas Day Dinner…

December 26, 2018

(this is a note I wrote  to two wonderful guys I met at this Fabulous party)
One of my best Christmas Day Dinners….
 
 when I grew up in DC…we opened presents after breakfast in our Living  Room.. my father had tacked a sheet that separated the Dining Room from the LR …… where the Christmas tree and presents were….and before this we all  gathered on our parents beds on the second floor….to open our Christmas Stockings….
 
I didn’t realize that Santa was my parents until probably when I was 6 ….as Christmas Eve I heard this Bike being bumped down the stairs from the attic…only to awake later to find it in our Living Room with a note that said “Love from Santa”
 
but after Breakfast .. my grandmother (maternal)….would go into the Living Room and play Christmas carols on the piano as we trooped in by age…..only to go berserk and see what was under the tree for us…..
 
my grandfather would sit silently (gosh he never EVER talked much…as today there are soo soo many question about this wonderful gentleman….)
 
he was German but born in NY…his parents being immigrants…his father died when he was young and his mother remarried…..and lord his two sisters that Never married were so ugly.(large hooked nose)….always dressed in Black…but kind I sort of guess…as they always gave me a check
 
he came from poverty but made (in spite of only reaching the 8th grade) quite something of himself back then…
becoming Secretary/Treasurer of the Great Northern Railroad..and was a close friend of JJ Hill (the founder)
he bought for his wife a Wonderful house on Fairmont Avenue (825) in St Paul MN….which one rumor was where Amelia Earhart had lived …
it was one of those comfortable Grand Victorian houses that had a front screen porch….you entered through a leaded, heavy wooden door only like 3 feet into a vestibule where you went through another leaded be windowed Heavy door…into the parlor…a winding staircase to the right..to the left was the first living room or parlor…it had  HIGH ceilings….and one of the first plate glass wide windows looking out over the porch to the street…and these massive floor to ceiling doors that slid into the walls…(which always amazed me as a child)…..then beyond this room was another living room …where the only black and white TV was …
my grandmother loved Lawrence Welk ….which I hated but she would watch late..(well like 8) … at night as my grandfather sat at the back of the other room smoking a cigar….and he believed in being Really frugal so there were NO lights on….just the TV …my grandmother (who had been an opera singer but lost her voice by the time  I knew her)… clucking along to Lawrence’s singers…the  only other light was from the ember of my grandfathers cigar….at the far end of the other Living Room….
 
oh Gosh I have got to shut up…but the house for a young child was Wonderful…the VERY small backstairs for the maids…that went from the kitchen to the 2nd floor up to the 3rd floor where the maids would live (my granddad only had like weekly help…as they did not have THAT much money)…but what I loved…. there were buttons in all the rooms…where back in the day one could ring the maids….and there were these call boxes in the butler’s pantry off the kitchen…and also up in the 3rd floor where the girls lived once upon a time…there was even a button under the Oriental carpet in the Dining Room that you  could step on to tell the girl that you had finished the first course….
and then the alley behind the house where as a child I remember the horse drawn carriage with the vegetable man selling his wares…and the basement where the furnace was with  the coal shoot …the laundry room with no dryer back then just that mangle or whatever they called it to squeeze the water out of the sheets…ok..enough!!!
Anyway it was So Delightful to meet you two!!!!
 
Hope to see you both soon!!!!
with Love,
Rob

One Response to “Christmas Day Dinner…”

  1. jan said

    such wonderful stories you have, Rob. Thank you so much for sharing them. It sounds as if you’ve had many a wonderful Christmas Day Dinner!

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