Originally published June 18, 2012...because now this one fits the holidays to a t!
I was lucky that Santa thought enough of me to bring me nearly everything I wanted. That’s just part of my fond memories of Christmas time during my youth. Reflecting on those Christmas memories today I now realize my parents had to make many sacrifices to make sure that my sister and I had a very special Christmas.
A particularly special memory is from the Christmas of 1970. My mom, sister and I lived in Tempe, Arizona. At ten years old and no longer believing in Santa Claus, Christmas was still a very magical time of year for me. I was looking forward to seeing two big items I wanted by the tree on Christmas morning: My own stereo and a Sears multi-colored three-speed bike. My old bike was purchased at a police auction three years prior and my sister didn’t like it when I tried to use her mono RCA phonograph.
My dream stereo, a gold General Electric record player with two attached speakers, was at the local TG&Y variety store. After school or when shopping with my mom I’d stop by the store to look at the grooviest music machine I had ever seen. I kept the issue of getting my own stereo on the front burner, though my mom never seemed too excited when l showed her the stereo. That worried me.
And the 3-speed stingray bike I wanted? It was in the 1970 Sears Christmas Wish Book. It had a boss looking chrome gearshift and small front tire that made it look really cool! The paint job was a combination of metallic yellow, orange and red! And to make it COMPLETELY cool, the bike had a black imitation leather banana seat and chrome sissy bar just like Peter Fonda’s chopper did in Easy Rider!
My folks were divorced; I knew that if my mom bought the stereo, I’d have to work on my Dad in Michigan to get me the “street machine.” In my Christmas letter to dad I included the page from the Sears catalog featuring the bike.
As the big day drew near I wasn’t completely convinced that I would get either of the items on my wish list, but the odds were more likely that my dad would come though with the bike. Money was a bit tight and my mom had other financial obligations to think about. Would this be the best Christmas ever? Time would tell.
When Christmas morning 1970 came, I was not disappointed.
There, in our living room, next to our aluminum Christmas tree, was a stereo and a “street machine.” And, an added bonus, Meet The Beatles and Let It Be LPs!!
I couldn’t wait to call my dad and tell him how groovy my new bike was. Being that we lived in a mild climate I was able to head out the front door immediately and show off my new bike to the neighborhood.