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Carol of Carlos the Christmas Coon

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  • Carol of Carlos the Christmas Coon

    image_5909.jpg Carol of Carlos the Christmas Coon

    Christmas past…

    In the long past of Christmas 1983, Diana Guraedy was working for the JC Penny’s Store in Kemmerer, Wyoming. Yep, Store Number 1. The one where the whole chain got started. Paul, her husband, a National Park Ranger, came in a few weeks before Christmas Eve only to become enamored with a large, white raccoon sitting atop a display case. Each time he returned he stopped to admire the stuffed toy……even naming him Carlos the Christmas Coon.
    This led Diana to ask, “What kind of stuffed toy did you have as a child?”
    “Boys did not have stuffed toys,” Paul replied in indignation but Diana noticed a tinge of pathos. Then shortly before Christmas it happened, Paul entered the store to find Carlos ─ gone! “Y’all sold my raccoon!” he complained, with the unspoken, “How could you?” left hanging in the air.
    Christmas Eve was the traditional time for opening gifts in the Guraedy household. It allowed sleeping late on Christmas morning. Several friends had been invited to join the festivities that Saturday night. Paul’s turn came and, naturally, he opened his largest package. There sat Carlos the Christmas Coon. “You didn’t sell him!” Was all Paul managed to say. The raccoon was placed under the tree for all to admire.
    Paul’s friend and hunting partner Ed remarked, “That raccoon looks lonely. He needs some Christmas cheer”. Ignoring questions thrown at him by the group, Ed hurried out the door. He soon returned sporting a bottle of Crown Royal. He sat the purple sack wrapped bottle between Carlos’ legs. The golden strings were carefully placed around the raccoon's arms.
    “Now he can reign over Christmas in royal purple” Ed observed. A tradition and tontine was born.
    As the stroke of midnight indicated the approaching Christmas morn, Carlos still had his purple sack ~ with an empty bottle. Ed, Paul and Bob, the local minister, were consumed with Christmas spirit.
    As the sun rose, Bob sallied forth to deliver his Christmas Morn sermon ─ probably on the wisdom of moderation. Ed and Paul assured the minister that they were there with him in spirit ~ as they stayed home and lamented their over indulgence.

    Christmas present……

    Each December, as in Christmas’s Past, Carlos ventures forth from hibernation, to gather his tribute and reign over the Season. He takes his place on a carpet of purple sacks while holding a new vessel of Crown Royal for sharing. Following tradition of the tontine, the two old friends ─ Carlos and Paul ─ first lift a glass in salute to their friends of Christmas Past ─ Ed and Bob ─ who now appear as true spirits, hopefully to warn against over indulgence. All present, are then invited to imbibe and celebrate Christmas Present.

    Christmas Future…..

    As the Season draws to a close Carlos sleepily puts aside his empty Crown Royal bottle, gathers his purple sacks, and calling out assurance that as Christmas Present becomes Christmas Past ~ he will always return in Christmas Future, ~ moving from generation to generation.
    Last edited by Paul_Guraedy; 12-23-2016, 03:48 PM.

  • #2
    Neat story Paul, Merry Christmas!!


    • #3
      The gift that keeps on giving. Memories for a lifetime. Merry Christmas Paul



      • #4
        Wonderful Christmas read Paul and super tradition. Merry Christmas


        • #5
          I have not had time to work on my account. Is the pic here?


          • #6
            No Pic Paul, at least I can't see it.


            • #7
              Thanks for sharing Paul. This is what is so special about the time of year. It is not the gifts but the family/friend gathers and the traditions that are interwound.

              Merry Christmas
              . . .JoeB


              • #8
                Interesting, I went to the post, hit edit, the pic was there, I hit insert medium and's there and I can see it!


                • #9
                  Great story Paul, and picture. Hope you enjoyed your traditional taste this Christmas, and for many more to come. Happy New Year my friend.
                  Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, let them pipe: "Up Spirits" one more time.