Kissin’ Kuzzins: A Christmas to Remember

Published 6:29 am Wednesday, December 27, 2017

By Dickie Dixon

For Posterity’s Eyes:  December birthdays:  30th:  Jane Brown, Renee Burkett, Jana Stewart Scharnberg January birthdays:  1st:  Esmeralda Garcia, Johnna Walker, Jo Ann Lumpkin O’Neill, Ray Faircloth 2nd:  Martha Loggins, Alys Frazier Ray, Alicia Drennan Bonnin 4th:  Mickey Bowser, Maxey Kirkley, Judy Dunn,  Ricky Gresham, Anne Griffin

A Christmas to Remember  The year 1997 was a difficult, disappointing year.  I began the year by registering for my graduate history courses at SFASU by paying with my credit cards.  The coffee shop Espresso Station, where I was working as manager, closed its doors in February.   The previous September Jana had quit teaching to help her mother recover after open heart surgery.

But the biggest wallop came on March 21st—one day before my birthday.  Needing to renew my driver’s license, I went to  the DPS office.  Part of the examination was to take an eye exam, which I failed.  A trip to the office of Dr. Gallas, just across the street, revealed I had a cataract in my right eye. 

Not wanting to do that in the middle of the semester, I put it off until May 20th; so, on May 19th I trekked to Dr. Duncan’s office for the pre-op.  The results were even more bad news:  I had a detached retina in my left eye and was a medical emergency at Methodist Hospital in Houston,  I underwent the surgery—the first I endured that I could remember and, a few months later,  I had the cataract surgery.

I did  not register for classes in the fall, but rather, instead, I was placed in a job by the Texas Commission for the Blind selling men’s clothing at Clark’s  My hopes of finishing my Master’s were becoming increasingly more dim.  So that fall I began working on September 13th at Clark’s department store in the men’s department. 

A few days before Christmas my mother called me to come to her house.  The only thing she told me was that she had something for me.  When I got there, she showed me what it was:  a white 1996 Jeep Cherokee with only 10,000 miles on it.  It once was the Jeep of Linda Beaver’s friend in Houston; Mitch Mitchell had sold it right out from under the other salesmen.

All of this was, of course, my mother’s own doings.  I could not see it coming.  I think she did it because she could empathize with where I was and thought I needed some encouragement.  I was excited about the gift and told everyone what a nice thing my mother had done for me.  Truly that year she made it a Christmas to remember.

Save the Date!  Dickie Dixon will discuss “Ten Good Reasons to Use City Directories in Your Research” when he speaks to the Vernon Parish Genealogical Society at 12:30 P.M. on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at the Vernon Parish Library in Leesville, Louisiana.  For more information, call the Vernon Parish Library, and ask for Stanley Fletcher.

Nelta Nolen will discuss “Alternate Sources for the 1890 Census,” when she speaks to the Angelina County Genealogical Society at 4:00 P.M. on Monday, January 29, 2018 in the Community Meeting Room of Kurth Memorial Library on 702 South Raguet in Lufkin, Texas (75904).

The Newton County Historical Commission announced the Newton County Genealogy Conference is scheduled for February 10, 2018 from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 the Newton Civic Center on 213 East Court Street in Newton, Texas.  For more information, call Dickie Dixon at (936) 240-8378, or e-mail him at


For book notices and/or reviews, send the author a complimentary copy to the address below.

Send your queries to by mail to Kissin’ Kuzzins P. O. Box 151001 Lufkin TX 75915-1001 or by phone to (936) 240-8378