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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, December 21, 1947, Image 102

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1947-12-21/ed-1/seq-102/

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I I
REMORSE: I m sorry I cheated you. Help yourselves"
Scrooge Rides Again
BY JBAN AND JUNE ROBBINS
At Christmas, people burst
with generosity — sometimes
in spite of themselves ....
Dickens doesn’t say whether Scrooge’s
reform in “A Christmas Carol” was
permanent or only temporary, but it’s a
matter of record that the holiday spirit
descends every year for a few hours on
large numbers of the population.
As the bells were ringing last Christmas
Eve in New York City, a limousine, driven
by a speedster who apparently did not care
to see the New Year, piled up against the
back of a two-ton truck. The truckman
was large, powerful and furiously angry.
The other driver, slender and pint
sized, was suddenly subdued.
“Why, you — ” began the outraged truck
driver. Then as the chimes rang louder his
eye fell on the battered car, its right front
wheel sagging on a shredded tire. “Aw, a
flat,” he said sympathetically. “Come on,
I’ll help you fix it. After all, it’s Christmas
Eve!”
Diuti — hi Hi* Lap
A man went into a Baltimore restaurant
the night before Christmas last year, chose
a table next to the ceiling-high evergreen
tree in the center of the floor, and ordered
hot stew. An awkward young waiter tangled
with the decorated tree and delivered the
order — in the customer’s lap!
The patron sprang to his feet and turned
a livid countenance to the server. At that
moment, the ceiling lights went out and the
tree shone forth in all its glory. The injured
customer paused a moment, then said,
What do you mean by working on Christ
mas Eve? Here, sit down. You probably
need this dinner more than I do.” And still
spattered with carrots, he grabbed a spoon
and served the remainder of the meal to
the waiter.
The seasonal spirit seized, too, the heart
of a mischievous young mail pilot, who
“buzzed” the rooftops of a little Illinois
hamlet each afternoon, waking every nap
ping infant in town. On Christmas Eve, he
buzzed again, this time dropping a shower
of parachuted packages containing such
appeasements for the younger inhabitants
as canned milk, safety pins, rattles and
paper diapers.
Tk« Grocer Succumbed
The most grandiose gesture yet noted,
however, was that of a neighborhood store
keeper. Known for short changing and even
shorter weighing, he was nevertheless widely
patronized because he kept open 20 hours
a day. Come Christmas, he hung a mangy
looking holly wreath on his cash register.
Last year, he out it out on Decemher 1 and
gazed at it daily for 24 days. On Christmas
Eve, apparently, his conscience was finally
smitten to an unparalleled extent.
“Come back here!” he called to a woman
he had just shorted three potatoes. “I want
you to know,” he said, generously extending
his hand, “that I’ve cheated you many
times in the past and that I’m sor.y for it.”
Into her bag, he put the missing tubers.
Into her hand, he pressed the key to the
store. "Go call your friends,” he command
ed. “Help yourselves to anything you want
and Merry Christmas!”
In Detroit, however, there is one man to
whom the Christmas spirit is really familiar.
He is a pushcart peddler whose cart is
drawn by a stocky little Shetland pony. On
Christmas Eve the situation is reversed.
By dint of pulling and hauling on the
part of a dozen friends, the pony is
heaved into the tinsel- and greenery
bedecked cart. Then, with the peddler
pulling on the shafts, the little animal is
taken for a solemn ride around the block.
From tenement windows, pennies rain down,
to be contributed to a local mission. Says
the peddler, “It is a tribute to my faithful
pony, good exercise for me, and money for
God’s work.”

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