Manuscripts/Mixed Material [Edward o'Neil]
Name: Louise G. Bassett
Title: Living Lore
Topic: An Old Irishman tells about Christmas
Edward o'Neil, who lives on the “old North Brookfield road, is one of Brookfield's oldest but most vigorous inhabitants.
I met him the other day just as he was finishing a five mile walk, his hands full of bitter-sweet, lovelier than I have ever seen around here. “Oh, where did you get it,” I exclaimed. “I won't tell you,” he snapped at me,” if I did - you'd tell some one else - then they'd tell someone and purtty soon every fool in town would be goin' there to get some an' there wouldn't be none left. I like it myself an' I'm goin' to keep it fer myself long's I kin. I'll give you a piece though, long's you want some so bad.” He selected a long branch with care.
“I'm saving this for Christmas” he added.
“What was the first Christmas you actually remember?” I asked.
In his faded eyes I saw a far off dreamy look. “The first Christmas I remember was when I was four years old. The reason I remember it was because my mother gave me a big lump of brown sugar with a few drops of peppermint on it. I nibbled at that sugar a little bit at a time all day long and I can taste that peppermint to this day. You see, we were sort of pioneer people and we didn't have much - nor not much to get anything with. Every winter in my early days was hard times.