News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 20, 2012

RONN MOTT: A Christmas Walk

Ronn Mott
Special to the Tribune-Star

---- — A walk around Collett Park in the dim light of the evening could certainly help to get anyone in a Christmas mood.

One house, at the location of Ninth and Maple, has Christmas lights in every window. Christmas lights adorn almost everywhere. At the north end of the park, one house is ablaze in Christmas lights, characters, and such. You can see it from a great distance … lavenders, blues, reds, lighting up the night. Even at our house, the picture window on the glassed-in front porch, which has served as a window on the park, now frames a seven-foot-tall Christmas tree.

It has presented some unique problems this year. Magic and Mellow, our two young male cats, have altered the decorating because we cannot use the slippery icicles, which the cats, I’m sure, would find irresistible. So no icicles of cut aluminum on our Christmas tree this year.

But in spite of all of that, my wife has out done herself with another gorgeous tree. That Old Black Magic, the smartest of our cats, has found a cave-like circumstance under the tree and has put himself there because he knows, or thinks he does, no one can see him. He’s wrong, but he doesn’t know it. Mellow, our other young male, thinks everything should be tested for chewing, but he has learned the lady who feeds him does not approve.

There are the sounds of Christmas, of course. The voices in the church choirs singing old, familiar Christmas carols, the ringing of the Salvation Army bells, and often at Baesler’s Grocery Store, the melodic notes of a tenor sax. On the southwest corner by the entrance, you’ll find Mike Reid. Mike is often there during the course of the year, but somehow it just sounds better at Christmas.  

I’ve always been a sucker for Christmas. My mother’s folks gathered at someone’s house on Christmas Eve for a large, carry-in dinner. There were songs, warm drinks, and the exchange of presents. Also, there were cousins one hadn’t seen for a very long time, and much fun. It was easy to go to sleep on those Christmas Eves, not with visions of sugar plums dancing in your head, but a warm feeling of togetherness, love and cheer. No matter what Christmas brought the next morning, we would be at Grandma Mattie Mott’s for Christmas dinner.

It was easier then. People did not live thousands of miles away. They lived up the street or across to the next county, or maybe as far away as Indianapolis. But it was a time that could not last, but it was fun while it did last.

Alas, it will not be the best of Christmases for Bill Cain, operation manager for Midwest Communications here in town.  He lost his job just a few weeks ahead of Christmas. Bill had done everything was asked of him and he did it above and beyond the call of duty. He had been the market manager when the one ahead of him had failed the assignment greatly. And when asked to step down to his original position of operations manager, he did it with no complaints. In fact, he did it quite well.

Today, he refuses the opportunity to say anything bad about the company … though they managed to go through people like a goose goes through a picked cornfield. I’m sure Bill Cain will land on his feet. He is a capable manager and a very capable guy.

I guess it’s a lesson that all Christmases are not cheery and bright but, again, in this space and in this paper, we would wish for you a very, Merry Christmas.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.