What are some of your favorite Christmas memories? Stop and think about it. Several come to mind for me and as one might guess, they were mostly when I was a child.
My childhood was an idyllic one growing up in the 1950s in a small town out in Montana. It was an era when little boys were captivated by western movies and cowboy heroes and I was no exception. Like Ralphie in the classic movie A Christmas Story I was infatuated with Red Ryder and longed for the day when I would be old enough to have a carbine action BB rifle. When I turned eight, to my mother’s dismay, my father actually gave me one. Unfortunately my first time out with it I shot someone in the thumb, but that is not a favorite memory so enough said.
When I was five, in the fall of the year, I entered a contest to name Red Ryder’s horse’s pony. I don’t remember what the grand prize was but I put my whole heart and soul into trying to come up with a unique name that I hoped would jump off the page when those judging the contest read it.
One night, as I was getting ready for bed it came to me, just out of the blue – Beldy. I was so excited. I called my mother into my bedroom and told her. My mother said “What?” And I said “Beldy.” “Oh,” she said, “are you sure?” “Yup” I said. And Beldy it was.