Christmas memories glow across the years


December 22, 1992|By Peter Hermann

For the millions who observe it, Christmas is a time of families, loved ones, friends, home -- and memories. In truth, for many, Christmases-past create memories that rank among the most indelible.

This week's Q&A feature poses just one question, what special Christmas memory -- or memories -- stick with you? Here are answers staff writers collected inside, outside and around the Baltimore Beltway:

* ALFRED SHEHAB, 73. Resident of Odenton, Anne Arundel County. Retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel. At age 21, he spent Christmas 1942 in California's Mojave Desert, training to go to war. He eventually served in the 37th Tank Battalion and landed in Europe in June 1944, soon after D-Day.

Christmas Day dawned, and, of course, there were no maneuvers. We were very relaxed.

Our water was ice-cold, but people in the mess tent heated up some, and in a collapsible bath tub I'd ordered from Abercrombie & Fitch, I took a bubble bath.

All of a sudden, the wind kicked up, and when we went for Christmas dinner, we had sand in our turkey. Finally, the mess tent went down. For some reason, it hit us as funny.

Later, I grabbed a Jeep and went for a ride in the sandstorm. remembered from one of our maneuvers a ranch house way out, around the side of a mountain -- about 20 miles from camp. I drove there. Some people came out and hollered to me, and I drove over. They invited me in. They had two lovely gals -- daughters. So the rest of my time on Christmas Day was spent in just splendid company.

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