Gloria Remembers Christmas and Her Dad

Dec 23, 2023 at 06:03 am by WGNS

(MURFREESBORO)  As you think back over-the-years, there are situations and people that come-to-mind. When you reminisce about the Christmas season, what people rush forward and become BIGGER THAN LIFE? 

When it comes to Gloria Christy, there's no question--it's her dad. But then, many of us think of Dick Shacklett (Richard Claud Shacklett).


Here is a recording of a tribute that the local historian shared on the radio . . .

And to make it easier to understand--here is radio's answer to CAPTIONS:

Twenty-eight years ago today, Richard Claude Shacklett passed away.  In paying tribute to our dad, I’d like to remember him by telling you this Christmas story that happened sixty years ago in 1963.

Christmas was out of reach that year for so many.  Those alive today remember exactly where they were on the 22nd of November, as we heard the news of President Kennedy’s assassination.  A pall of sadness and despondency was over this nation like no other time.  A president was murdered right before our eyes, and no American knew how to process their grief and sorrow.

A month later, there were attempts by merchants to normalize the situation.  Harvey’s Department Store in Nashville was promoting lavish gifts for your wife, like a mink stole, marketing the merriment with visits from Santa direct from the North Pole and encouraging folks not to miss the Nativity Attraction at Centennial Park sponsored by Harvey’s. 

Christmas Eve 1963 brought despair despondency and discouragement to our family as well.  For Murfreesboro merchants Christmas had been as bleak as the mood of our nation.  No one felt like celebrating in the so-called “most wonderful time of the year.”  My Mom and Dad had no money to put gifts under the Christmas tree.  As a 13-year-old I knew, but my younger brother Bill and sister Linda, did not know. 

Ginny and Shack needed a Christmas miracle if they were not going to disappoint their eager anticipating children.

On Christmas Eve it happened.  Mom and Dad waited at the store for someone to come in, and someone did, and paid $50 on a past-due bill.

Mom and Dad jumped into their 1954 dingy-green Chevrolet and took off to Jackson Heights Plaza to Western Auto.

A Christmas Miracle was about to be fulfilled, turning a black and white to living color.  Daddy asked M. Jones, “What can you do for us?  I only have $50.”  And Mr. Jones said, “I have just the thing!” as someone had not picked up their lay-away.  Out of the back, coming from the storage area, was Christmas presents galore – a pogo stick, a doll for Linda, and so much more, to fill our living room from top to bottom under the Christmas tree.

Mom and Dad were delighted, especially Daddy, who loved surprising his children, making their dreams come true.

If you’re feeling a little lack-luster this Christmas, consumed with life’s chaos, tangled up as last year’s Christmas lights, obliterating your comfort and joy, let me encourage you with this original Christmas miracle:

Jesus Christ was born.  He lives… to bring you hope, mercy, and love.  

Like Mary, ponder this in your heart…

Merry Christmas Murfreesboro and Rutherford County.

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