SUNNY CAL JOURNAL - Christmas: "Come Quick, Daddy's A'dyin"

By Bob Weaver

It was Christmas Day in the 1960s, and our extended family was ready to open gifts, with the funeral home in Spencer then answering about 1,200 ambulance calls annually.

The phone rang and a voice said, "Come quick, daddy is dying," and unconscious.

Cyde Sinnett, Jr. and I dropped the Christmas ritual and commenced the ambulance run to a rural area near Amma.

The small hillside house was filled with family members for the holidays, most who were exasperated finding the elderly man in bed unconscious and unresponsive.

We got the ambulance cot into the bedroom, finding him covered by a mound of comforts, his eyes closing and breathing heavily, the room full of children and grandchildren, demanding a quick transport to the hospital.

We peeled the blankets back to find an empty Jim Beam bottle of whiskey between his legs.

The bewildered and embarrassed family seemed to have a loss of words, then agreeing to just left the elderly man sleep it off. We returned to Spencer for a joyful holiday.