Granny's Notes - the writing of Sue Gerard

Big snow brings back New Year’s memories

Nancy and I dug into some early "Granny’s Notes" and decided that today we’d share a favorite memory of another big snow — a snowy New Year’s Eve party in 1958.

The roads all over this part of the country were snow and ice packed; our good friends Guy and Zee Bass couldn’t drive the 175 miles from Springfield for their annual New Year’s Eve visit. Nancy and Walter E. were crushed, as we were, too. I suggested that we drown our sorrows in a Pepsi and some leftover Christmas candy.

"Let’s have our own New Year’s Eve Party," Nancy whispered as we cleared away the supper dishes. I agreed but said it was up to her to do it. She pulled Walter E. into her room, outlining the party plans.

Soon they brought decorated paper hats for us all, and gave us each a paper cup for popcorn. There was to be a floor show right in our living room.

Walter E. was draped in a tea towel in his role as the New Year’s baby. He announced the evening’s events and served the "champagne." Nancy wore a sign saying "Song Leader" and was dressed in high heel pumps and the bathroom curtain. Underneath she had on bright red shorts. She wore that garb like a bosomless Marilyn Monroe in a mink stole. Walter E. announced that there would be a cover charge of 2 cents and passed an ashtray to collect a total of 4 cents from we parent-patrons.

Songs for the floor show were original words to the tunes of "Happy Birthday" and "Jesus Loves Me." Following the music there was a drawing and I was chosen to perform my lisping song. Then Chub was called to sing "Old Miss Simmon Went a Swimmin’ ... but the kids stopped him before the chorus because they couldn’t wait to get on with their own performance.

After a few impromptu acts, Nancy passed the popcorn and the New Year’s baby served the "champagne," the Pepsi wrapped in a towel. He popped the cork and then poured the contents into my best crystal sherbet stemware. I held my breath, but nothing was broken, and only a little spilled.

At exactly one minute till 9 p.m. we toasted each other and sang "Auld Lang Syne," singing the only words we could remember, over and over again. A short game of Scrabble to celebrate 1958, and the kids were off to bed.

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