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Coffee, Tea or Me? Having a little fun on Christmas

Dec. 27, 2013 @ 08:09 PM

When Elizabeth and Mark were children, we were in Scott Depot for Christmas just about every year, which was 500 miles from our home and employment in Decatur, Ill. For more than 25 years, I was pastor of Peoples Church of God, a great church in that beautiful city of 94,000 people which was surrounded by many other smaller cities and towns.

Christmas in Decatur and its beautiful light and sound pageant called: "Windows of Christmas" presented by the church each year attracted thousands of people. Our large clear glass windows on floors two and three coupled with the creative genius of Jim Mifflin and his wife, Helen, made all of this possible. More than 200 people of the congregation were used each night to make it possible.

We arrived in Decatur, Ill., on a very hot Aug. 2, 1964. In a few months, it was Christmas time in the city and on the farms of the "Golden Prairie."

I was active in the Lions Club where I met some of the finest men I ever knew. In those days, women were not members of national service clubs. Today, most would have a tough time without the ladies who now are the main reason that so many of these great clubs operate successfully.

The Lions Club sponsored a big Christmas party each year for the youth who lived at Cantrell Hall. The club spent hundreds of dollars for super gifts that met the needs of each youngster.

With no women members in Lions in those days, the wives of members took care of setting, decorating and serving the tables. We were being waited on in style. Food was set before us and the drinks were being served.

This was one of the first social events we had attended and Kitty was serving drinks at this Christmas party.

Kitty was dressed in a bright red short skirt and high top white boots with all the extras that made her beautiful in my eyes. When she stopped at my place to see what I might want to drink, she looked down at me with a twinkle in her eye and her million-dollar smile and in the right tone of whispering voice asked, "Coffee, tea or me?"

She said it loud enough that all the men around my table could hear and I must have responded in total surprise, "I'll have all three, please." As she turned away I heard several questions like, "Bill, do you know who that lady is?" "What is her name?" "Where does she live?" and on it went until I proudly confessed, "she is my wife, Kitty, and I have known her for 10 years."

Had it not been for Kitty's smile, charm, kind and loving ways and beautiful singing voice, I might not have lasted five years in Decatur, instead of the wonderful 25 years our family lived there.

But the one most unusual question I was ever asked was simply, "Coffee, tea or me?" Christmas memories are wonderful.

Bill Ellis can be reached at P.O. Box 345, Scott Depot, WV 25560; phone 304-757-6089.

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