Happy Thanksgiving! I thought this would be a good week to share an old notepad I came across many years ago. From 1950, it included some real gems, including a note written to Santa from my mom, Clara Mae, in my Grandmother Hale’s handwriting. The letter that was still in the notepad isn’t complete, as it kind of trails off at the end, but here is the content (I am also including a photo of the letter):
Dec. 1, 1950
Dear Santa Claus,
I am a little girl seven years old and in the second grade at Sulphur Springs School. I had a birthday Nov. 18th but didn’t get very many presents, so won’t you please bring me some for Christmas? I just want a blackboard, teddy bear, billfold, zipper note book and paper. Please bring all the other little boys and girls something too. Mother would like to have a sewing machine. I wish you could bring Uncle Eddie back his good health as we enjoy him on the radio so much. Your little friend …
A few things to note:
-My mom grew up in Gray, Tennessee, but back in 1950, the address was Route 2, Jonesboro. Jonesborough, Tennessee’s oldest town, was commonly spelled “Jonesboro.”
-I remember Mom telling us kids when we were little that she usually didn’t receive a lot of gifts at Christmas. She might get a few things, usually necessities, as well as some fruit and a stick of candy. She said that their Christmas trees were usually cedar trees that Granddaddy cut down and brought to the house.
-I love that this is in my grandmother’s handwriting and that a Christmas wish for her is included as well.
-I also love that others are mentioned—bringing the other boys and girls something for Christmas as well as bringing Uncle Eddie from the radio back his good health. Best I can guess, Uncle Eddie is Eddie Cowell, a popular deejay who in 1950 was a broadcaster for WJHL in Johnson Ciy. I came across an article from Bob Cox’s Yesteryear about Cowell (at https://www.bcyesteryear.com/node/378) that chronicles his career. “In July 1950,” the article states, “misfortune struck the broadcaster when he was abruptly stricken with crippling polio. He was eventually transported to Duke Hospital in Durham, NC, for further treatment.” It seems that my mother’s (and grandmother’s) Christmas wish was granted, as Cox reports that Cowell continued his broadcasting career for some 20 more years, eventually retiring in 1970.
-I am also including images of a few other goodies found in the notepad—including a picture of a turkey that my mom drew for Santa as well as a letter that she started to her grandmother.
-I am thankful for family and for these treasures that connect us to days gone by as well as to our family members who are no longer with us. Enjoy your holiday and your loved ones!