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Sunday, December 25, 2016

☠ 💀 Christmas Day 1975 / 2016

The utter ass that I am sat up last night after my younger brother Mark had gone to bed ─ it was at least 2:00 a.m., and maybe even after 2:30 a.m., before I had completed my sordid dalliance and finally retired for what was left of my night.

Although I rose for the day around 8:40 a.m., I felt ill-slept.  And Mark soon rose after I did. 

He had come home alone last evening, but his girlfriend Bev was to be here to help him prepare a Christmas turkey dinner today.

And so early in the afternoon, he went off and collected her.

It was only after we had begun sitting together with drinks and watching some Android Box TV that I finally felt comfortable with myself and life.

My two step-sons spent the night with their respective girlfriends at the gals' homes.  The youngst lad Pote and his girlfriend showed up around 3:00 p.m., but soon enough left to supposedly do some grocery shopping.

An hour or more later, and they have not returned.

But there is scant available time for a post today, so I shall settle on simply trying to post an account from my journal of exactly 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was renting the small affair in a house located on Ninth Street, and maybe one or two houses up from Third Avenue.

My mother Irene Dorosh and her husband Alex were hosting a Christmas dinner for our family at their home in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey.  The house no longer exists, but its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue. 

Normally, the hike to get there from my room was around 1½ hours of fast walking.

I had gone to bed on Christmas Eve around 8:30 p.m.
THURSDAY, December 25, 1975

I slept better than I expected to, and though it wasn't continuous, I didn't arise till about 4:35 a.m.

My foot has not normalized.

It was about 6:00 a.m. when I broke into Jean's package to me; it was a tray of individually packaged imported food products collectively called a Ham Appeteaser.  Unfortunately, the central feature was a lb. of canned ham, and a 3¾ lb. ─ make that 3¾ oz ─ of canned smoked oysters.

But edible are 4 1½ oz packages of Old Mill Pasteurized Process Samsoe Cheese Spread (2 being plain, 2 smoked) from Denmark, 2 1 oz  packs of Birkum Pasteurized Process Cheese Spread (1 with mushroom, 1 with onion) from Denmark, 2 1 oz packages of Rupp Cheese Bits (pasteurized process smoked gruyere cheese) from Austria, 2 candies Black Currant Filled from Poland, 2 4 oz Westemacker Westphalian Pumpernickel from Germany, and a 2½ oz can of Northland Queen small Norwegian Sild Sardines in tomato sauce.

As I lied in the darkness this morning, I decided I would not go with Mark & Cathy tomorrow to see dad; I'll not suffer Marie ever again.

I left for mom's about 8:00 a.m. in a fine drizzle, taking some change in case my foot compelled me to bus; notwithstanding, I wasn't too much longer than usual for the walk.

I arrived as the first guest, though Sherry was there; they were opening their gifts.

Mom's to me was a handsome Timex calendar watch.

While awaiting the coming of the others, I wasn't above snacking.

Next to come was Mark, Cathy, & kids.

Alex began handing out drinks.

Last to show were Phyllis and her Dave, who struck me as being a very nice fellow.

And then came the more than ample meal; from the time of it till I finally left with Mark and family, I kept myself full.  Still there was a huge quantity of food left.

My camera took 4 photos, the final one being by mom of me alone, coated; I asked her to do this just before leaving with Mark about 7:45 p.m. because I wanted a record of myself as well as of everyone else that day.

You know, I really had a fine time; it was one of my best Christmases.

At Mark's I stayed and watched TV, having 2 bought beers and 1 of Mark's.

He finally drove me home, and my day ended around midnight.

Note:  I found a dime by Saint Mary's on my way to mom's in the morning.   
My foot was extremely sore as a result of a long run I had undertaken five days before while I was wearing boots.  It felt almost like a small bone in my foot had separated from its neighbours. 

The Ham Appeteaser that I described at length was a gift from an American pen-pal I had ─ Jean M. Martin (née Black).  It had come in the mail some days before, but instructions said it was not to be opened until Christmas Day.

Unfortunately, I did not eat pork back then, nor shellfish.

My younger brother Mark and his girlfriend Catherine Jeanette Gunther were planning on visiting my father Hector on Boxing Day, but I had undergone a huge falling out with his girlfriend Maria Fadden ─ my father and Maria shared an apartment together.

I had in fact been expected as their guest for dinner on Christmas Eve, and I had gone there in anticipation of perhaps burying the hatchet with Maria.

However, she was half-drunk and snarky as hell, so to my father's dismay, I just stood up and left shortly after hiking to their Burnaby apartment.

My aggrieved father desperately called after me, but it was no use.

That memory was haunting.

Anyway, I made the hike that Christmas morning to my mother's home.  Sherry ─ who was there already ─ was actually temporarily staying there.  She was the young daughter of my older maternal half-sister Phyllis.

After my arrival came Mark, Jeanette, and Jeanette's two little girls.  They were all living in a rented home in Whalley ─ the house was on Bentley Road, very near to 108th Avenue & King George Highway.

I suppose the two homes were maybe 4¼ miles apart.

Phyllis's boyfriend of the time ─ Dave ─ was younger than her.  I don't remember him much at all; I don't think the relationship endured for long.  

It is nice to read that I had such a good time of it that day.

I went home with Mark and Jeanette for some TV and three beers, and then Mark drove me back to my room in New Westminster.

By the way, Saint Mary's was a hospital located in New Westminster ─ apparently at 220 Royal Avenue.  It was around there that I found a dime that morning ─ a pretty big deal to me back then. 

I have no idea now what the photo of me was that I had my mother take, but these are the other three photos from that day ─ the descriptions beneath each is from the Google album where the photos are filed:

Photo taken Christmas Day 1975. The adults are my mother Irene Dorosh and her husband Alex; the two youngest girls are sisters Michelle Lee Gunther (left) and Pamela Susan Gunther; and Sherry West, my niece and daughter of my half-sister Phyllis.
Photo taken Christmas Day 1975 at the home of my mother Irene Dorosh. My brother Mark and his absolutely lovely girlfriend, Catherine Jeanette Gunther. That's the back of one of Catherine Jeanette's two daughters' heads in the immediate foreground.
Photo taken Christmas Day 1975 at my mother Irene Dorosh's home in Surrey, B.C. That is my mother at extreme left; then her daughter Phyllis (my half-sister); Phyllis' boyfriend (Brian?); sisters Michelle Lee Gunther and Pamela Susan Gunther, daughters of my brother Mark's girlfriend, Catherine Jeanette Gunther; and my niece Sherry West, daughter of Phyllis.
And so it was precisely 41 years ago for me and my family.
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