2014-12-24 / Editorial & Columns

Behind the Badge

Christmas Past and Present
By Larry G. Spence

Got to think this week about some of the Christmas Past and where I spent them, and how they have changed over the years. As a youngster I spent most of my early Christmas Holidays in the cold Indiana winters. I remember going from our house up the street to my Aunt's house and all the kids would lay in front of the TV (black and white) and watch Christmas specials and listen to my Aunts Mattie Margaret), Janet and Annie sing Christmas Carols. There was always a book that came out every year with all the carols in it. My three Aunts had even recorded themselves singing carols on a 78 RPM record. They were actually pretty good just like the Mc Quire Sisters. We would peek out the curtains every so often, that had those candlestick lights in them and the spray snow on the windows. Looking for Santa and soon he would make his appearance with his bag over his shoulder, toss out some candy canes, oranges, and then be on his way before we had a chance to recognize him as one of our uncles.

Later I spent a couple years in Washington DC and Christmas was always a fun time there. We made the rounds and each state had a Christmas tree and we would look for the Indiana tree to have our picture taken while our roommates searched for trees from Ohio, North Carolina, and Iowa, It was a fun time. Then it was time to join Uncle Sam for a few Christmases, first in Cambria, California, then there was that one in Pleiku, South Vietnam in 1967, which was interesting, but lonely. That was followed by a couple in Belleview, Illinois, just outside St. Louis. Those were a couple good years, that's where I met up with my Raymondville connection. We got married, moved back to Indiana, raised a son while we both worked and had five good Christmases before moving to South Texas. No more white Christmases, except for one time.

The Christmas holidays here have been for the most part good except for a few, and they have all been seasons of growing and maturing, and realizing the "real reason for the season." My first Christmas as a Sheriff was in 1985, and it seems like they've been getting here faster every year since. Christmas is a good time of year for family, and to be thankful. I've have been blessed by the people I've met and hopefully I've been able to return some of that blessings to you and to this wonderful County. I thank God for what He has done with my life and I hope you too can look back with fondness on your Christmas Holidays past and present. Have a Very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year. To those in our department, thank you for allowing me the privilege to work alongside each of you, and God bless!

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