Todd’s Thoughts December 2018

When I was a child the Internet was called the “Sears Roebuck Catalog,” and I couldn’t wait for it to arrive free each year just in time for Christmas. Mom used it to pick new school
clothes for my siblings and me, to replace those she’d ordered the year before that had become too small—“floods,” as the other kids teased—and covered with patches to hide the holes we’d worn in some of them. But we kids couldn’t wait for our turn to look at the new toy section to determine what we’d ask Santa Claus to bring us. Each year, for as long as I can remember, I longed for a Charlie McCarthy ventriloquist dummy. I’d seen Charlie in a few films and thought he’d make a great friend. But he was pretty expensive, $39.99, if I recall, too high a price for my parents to spend on just one of their four kids. But after a few years of asking, mom splurged and bought the smaller, $29.99, Danny O’Day, for Santa to give me instead. I loved Danny as much as I could ever have loved Charlie. He was a good friend and helped me cut my teeth on ventriloquism (pun intended). Today, as you probably know, I still love automatons—dummies, puppets, even robots. They still fill me with the sense of magic and wonder I had as a child. I’m not sure why, but I’m glad of it. I hope this holiday season there is something of that wonder and magic still left for us all. — Rev. Dr. Todd F. Eklof, UUCS Minister

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