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St. Nick's Outlaws

By Jim Colombo


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Copyright 2001 Jim Colombo


 Chapter 49


It was Tuesday morning, and Jim and his parents were accustomed to waking up early


on Christmas Day, going to nine o’clock mass, and then going somewhere for Christmas


breakfast.  Sleeping in on Christmas morning was a new experience for them.  Some


cultures have a late dinner when returning from midnight mass.  That was a meal that Jim


and his parents would decline.  They were settled in their routine of life with dinner at six. 


     Jim’s day began at ten when Lupe called.  She thanked Jim once again for the gold


bracelet with pearls that matched the pearl ring that Jim had given her for her birthday. 


Jim thanked Lupe for the red wool cap she had knitted.  He appreciated the effort and love


she gave making the cap that was a simple, but meaningful symbol that was priceless.


      Lupe and Rosa arrived at three o'clock for an early dinner with Jim and his


parents.  Mary slow roasted a leg of lamb, made gravy with the pan drippings, and served


the lamb with mint jelly and homemade biscuits.   A salad and a vegetable were served. 


The adults drank red wine, and Jim and Lupe drank Coke.  Rosa had brought an


assortment of Mexican cookie she had baked for desert.  Gifts were exchanged and all


were pleased with what they received.   Jim and his parents gave Rosa three aluminum


cooking pans that Rosa had admired the Christmas before.  Lupe and Rosa gave Jim’s


parents sweaters.  Joe and Mary thanked Rosa and Lupe.


     After dinner Jim and Lupe went for a walk to 24th and Castro Streets to Bud’s Ice


Cream to buy a hand packed quart of chocolate.  Bud was in his forties, had gray hair, and


wore glasses.   He had an old Dumont television that had a four-inch screen with a


magnifying lens attached so that the figures on the screen could be seen.  Bud was an ex


Navy man who made his own ice cream in the back of his tiny store on the corner.  Bud


sold ten flavors and had a new treat to offer, a frozen banana on a stick that was dipped


in melted chocolate that became hard like candy.  Bud wasn’t married and his life was the


ice cream store.  He was open on Christmas day from noon to five.   Lupe liked the frozen


banana dipped in chocolate, and Jim liked Bud's strawberry ice cream that had big chucks


of strawberries. They quickly walked home so that the ice cream wouldn't melt.  Jim’s


parents had a Crosley refrigerator that had a small freezer that held one tray of ice cubes


and a quart of ice cream.  Later coffee was served with Rosa’s Mexican cookies and ice


cream.  Most of the conversation was about how President Johnson would do as a leader. 


Concern was growing over America’s involvement in Southeast Asia.  Where we really


threatened.  Why were we there?  



More next week...