Friday, December 14, 2012

A Very Special Christmas!

By Pete Frecchio, Groovy Reflections Team Member

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.

We can't promise everything on your wish lists, however, we do have some pretty darn GRoovy hand tie-dyed t-shirts! Also GRoove with us at our website, on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest


Tim Armstrong said...

Great story! I too recall that Christmas with the same wishes, and while I didn't exactly get the record player I wanted, I did get a new green Schwinn with a sissy bar and gold banana seat!

Anonymous said...

Totally GRoovy, Tim!! What a great time that was for us!!

Anonymous said...

Memories of Christmas' past and finding that gift, you hoped for but really didn't expect! Thanks Pete, Great story. Paul

Guy Sharwood said...

This really took me back. I'd gotten a three speed the year prior for Christmas. Not only did you get both gifts but Beatle LP's past and present. Thanks for putting this up, Pete!

Anonymous said...

In 1971, I wanted the same thing in Santa Fe Nm. Mine was the Sears 3 speed red white andd blue spyder bike, and not a record player, but a general electric cassette recorder from tg&y; my parents got me the bike and grandma (mom's mother) bought me the cassette recorder! What a happy 1971 Christmas that was, there really is a Santa Claus! I still have the ge cassette to this day and it still works! The bike got vandalized by bullys in elementary school who didn't like me!