One year we had to burn dozens of Christmas trees.

I loved having a stand in the Kmart parking lot. I felt so close to my family; It was a time when all 5 of us were together for days at a time. I loved helping too.

We had moved to Richland a few years prior and had already left our decent house there in Kings Village for a shitty house on a shitty street, but really we didn’t notice. We were outside all day every day running with the neighborhood kids, so what we lived in wasn’t an issue.

The first year we must have done well enough with the stand. I believe my entrepreneurial minded dad got a bit too enthusiastic the second year. Monty Homes was his lifelong buddy from his football days and owned a christmas tree farm. Naturally my dad put the two together and BAM we spent a few holiday seasons hawking trees.

The trailer was cozy and smelled deliciously of propane. Once I had earned a few bucks I went into the Kmart by myself ~ I was 6 or 7. I found something I could afford, but was baffled when checkout came and with the tax I didn’t have enough. The man behind me contributed a quarter and I was speechless at his generosity. The clerk misunderstood and chastised me for not thanking him immediately.

I don’t recall christmas morning that year and I was thrilled with the doll I had purchased from my hard labor anyway, but it broke my heart to see my dear old dad tending to the piles of trees burning in our backyard for days after.

Please enjoy this picture of Bobby and I playing Gone with the Wind in the front yard.