My father, Martin C. Fredricks III, said this to me many times, usually at family gatherings. Just as often, though, he said it to people he’d just met, at one of my brother’s NDSU football games, for example, even if they had their own child playing. It always seemed an odd thing to say to people with their own reasons for being somewhere.
Unwanted, useless gifts. They come out of nowhere, from relatives I wouldn’t dream of asking for receipts. Toss them and forget it, I tell myself. But I can’t, I won’t. If something can be purchased, surely it can be returned….
In the wee hours of Christmas morning, after we’ve opened all the gifts and thrown out the wrapping paper, as my relatives gently slumber, I confront the curse of Christmas present.
How to keep the Joneses and all their cash from driving on by on the new Interstate system? Enterprising business owners and chamber of commerce leaders pondered and pondered. Finally, an idea took shape. The Big Attraction was born.
Not long ago, National Public Radio did a piece about a free spirit who has created a mobile desktop publishing office and taken his show on the road. In the tradition of John Steinbeck and his faithful companion, Charley, this gentleman is traveling across the country, meeting folks and printing their stories.
Don’t confuse this with the infamous lounger where men devour chips and beer in front of the game. Far from a throne overlooking any urban kingdom, this chair is reserved for the stalwart few who venture forth to malls on weekends.