Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas from The Besseys

In 2009, I posted some Christmas poems written in the 1960's by my Uncle George Bessey and my grandfather, Arthur "Bappa" Bessey; who worked for Great Northern Paper Company at the time.  These poems were published in the "Pittston Farm Weekly"--GNPC's newsletter.

Two years ago, in an attempt to preserve family history (and make it entertaining, too...) I made voice recordings of most of these poems and burned them onto CD's for my closest friends and family members.

And then... I forgot about them.

The last two years have been unlike anything I've ever experienced-- or intended to experience.   I've been busy.  Preoccupied.  Right out straight, if truth be told. 

But what takes precedence?  Work?  Community involvement?  Activism?  Or...should 'family matters' be what really matter?

Christmas comes but once a year.  And I think once a year is 'just about right' for how often a Bessey family poem should be read.  And enjoyed.

I hope you like this holiday poem which was written by my uncle George Bessey, published in GNP's Pittston Farm Weekly, and passed along to me and my kin to be enjoyed by you and yours.

Merry Christmas, from the Besseys of Maine to You.

What a Night Before Christmas!

‘Twas the night after Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, except Santa’s spouse
Who, with shabby old house coat and curlers in hair,
Was making S.C. wish that he wasn’t there.

“So the children were nestled all snug in their beds!”
She shouted at him as she waved some blonde threads.
“Now, patience, my dear,” pleaded Santa with pain,
“If you’ll just let me speak, I’ll try to explain.

“I left here on time, albeit quite shivery,
Intending to make the Christmas delivery.
But before my first stop, it became crystal clear
That ahead of my sled were eight crazy reindeer!

They bypassed the houses where I planned to go
And finally dumped me right out in the snow
Where, what with my wondering eyes should I sight,
But a house full of girls—and a single red light!

“ ‘Hey, girls! Look who’s here!’ I heard one exclaim.
And there rose such a cheer I was glad that I came.
They dusted me off and invited me in,
And their boss introduced them to me with a grin:

‘Here’s Pat, Midge and Fran and a loser named Vixen.
She’s red-headed, drives a Rambler and voted for Nixon!
Here’s Connie and Cuddles and Bubbles and Joyce.
Now look them all over and then take your choice.’

“Now, my dearest, you know that I could not agree
To take one and not all of them…up on my knee.
So I said to their leader, ‘It would be a crime
If I didn’t give all of your girls equal time.’

She chuckled and said, ‘You’re a helluva gent!
And I lingered with them till my ear was quite bent,
Then before I departed, I gave them their toys:
Five sables, three bobcats, a beaver and a golden decoy.

“Despite what you think, there’s no reason to doubt
That I planned to continue my regular route.
But when for my list, I ventured to look,
What should I find but a little black book!

To hunt for my list I knew would take ages,
So I used in its place that little book’s pages.
And though (as you know) I’m quick to see,
The first address led to the Auberge at Ste Aurelie.

“Now, the names in that book included ‘Annette’,
‘Beatrice’, ‘Lilli’ and a yummy ‘Yvette’.
But just which was which? There was no guessing whom
Until they all took me to their dressing room.

And there I discovered Annette had a mole;
Bea really was blonde; and Yvette wore a scroll
Tattooed on her thigh that caused me to pause;
For on it was written ‘J’adore Santa Claus!’

“The evening rushed on in a dizzying whirl
As the little black book led to girl after girl
In Greenville and Jackman and St. George and St. Zacharie
And each of them had to eggnog and nutmeg me!

And I’m not to blame if their clothing was scanty
Or if they were all simply wild about Santy.
Thus it was that the sun rose over Maine
At the very same time I was leaving the I.P. Chain.

“After that, Sugarplum, your jolly old gnome
Hopped into his sleigh and headed for home.
Now I’ve told you my story with patience and care;
So I’m sure you’ll excuse that bit of blonde hair!”

“Indeed, I will not!” Mrs. Santa shot back.
Then without a word, she went straight to his pack
And dumped out a doll you’ll not find on a shelf!
Said Santa, quite weakly: “It’s just a new elf.”

“A disgrace to your calling—that’s what you are!”
Mrs. Santa came on like an angry hussar,
“There’s only one way to undo what you’ve done—
Now don’t argue with me! I’m sending our son!

He’s the symbol of everything you ought to be:
Love of family, clean living—in short—decency!”
“My gawd!” muttered Santa to this revelation,
“That pantywaist kid will kill my reputation!”

But although Santa pleaded, his wife remained firm,
Shouting, “Take off that suit, you philandering worm!”
In a twinkling their son made ready to go;
Candelabrum in hand and dimples aglow!

“Now be careful, my precious, and be a good boy,”
Mrs. Santa said kissing her bundle of joy.
'Twas then Santa shouted, his voice rather messy!
“Give that little black book back to bachelor George Bessey!

And so ends our story, as Santa said, rather meekly…
Happy Christmas to all—A la Pittston Farm Weekly.

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