Wednesday, December 2, 2009


No, it's not Holiday Time or the Season or Yuletide. It's Christmas. And I'm trying really hard not to curse, but I am sick of these people who deny what is so very obvious. And so, this Christmas, I am going to give you a gift in the form of a suggestion.

In 1996, Cori Connors who is originally from Penn Hills and spent time working the coke batteries in Clairton (now THERE'S a tough woman) has the most incredibly gentle side you have ever heard. In her CD, Sleepy Little Town, she describes all of the wonderful things that she experienced as a child growing up in Western Pennsylvania a few decades ago. You know, the many things that YOU remember as a kid.

You will positively LOVE this CD and you should go to and get it today, right in time for Christmas. But wait. There's more news. Cori has done the musical unthinkable and just released One Small Boy. This is not meant to be a sequel to Sleepy Little Town, but more of a continuation, sharing personal thoughts and inspiration prompted by Christmas. This CD is, well, incredible. Cori's gentle and assuring voice will take you back to Smock, Penn Hills, or wherever you remember Christmas (and not the "Holiday Season").

Smock went through the changes. First there were beautiful smelling pine trees that were cut usually at night on some person's farm. The trip involved snow and/or ice, or at least rain. Then came the aluminum trees that changed colors thanks to this slowly rotating color wheel that was situated near the "tree". Then followed the green artificial tree that even came with an aerosol "real pine scent" which smelled more like new shoes. And justifying the old song "Everything Old is New Again", we have come full circle to getting a real pine tree, except the cost now is about ten times as much.

Do you remember those beautiful trees that were always put in the living room and always near a window? The ones with those special ornaments that were so personal to the family that lived in the home? And the smells of Christmas. Not just pine, but the baking that started weeks before Christmas. I used to think that Advent was marked by the number of nut rolls my grandmother made. The more she made, the closer it was to Christmas.

And the craziest of all traditions is that we actually went to church. That's right. Most of us went to Midnight Mass or or some late night service.

It was all great. Every bit of it. And it was Christmas. Like what is coming again soon. Like it has for over 2,000 years.

And nobody conjures up those great memories like my good friend Cori Connors. Take a trip to her website, and listen to her music.

I'll show you Christmas, buddy. A Christmas like we had in our sleepy little town of Smock.

1 comment:

Cori said...

Hey wow! How do I rate???? Thank you for not picking one of my children over the other! I labored through both and loive them the same, so spare my mother heart by not choosing one over the other!
By the way, I grew up in Pleasant Hills, close to Clairton, right off Route 51...Century 3 Mall area. Ahhhh, now I'm homesick!
Thanks, Bob!