A Christmas Story, 1942
I found this treasure in a pile of my Mom’s yellowing school papers. I believe she wrote it in 1942 when she was 16 years old. I am posting a video reading of it as well as the written text. It’s priceless to read her story, in her words, so many years later. My mom was an avid reader, a dreamer and had a rich imagination. Born in 1926, she grew up during the depression in Lynn, MA in a humble and loving family (nothing like the J.J. Worthington’s with a maid and butler). Her personality, the Pam Blalock who I knew, perfectly comes through in this story. If she spotted an injustice, she would call it out and intervene, if possible. I’m sure she wanted and expected positive and happy endings but in real life, it doesn’t always happen that way. It’s fascinating that her essence and spirit are revealed at such a young age. She passed away 12 years ago. I wish we could talk to her in person about her essay but to exhume this treasure and share her words is the next best thing.
What are you leaving behind? Who might want to talk to you about it?
A Christmas Story
Written by: Muriel Guptill (aka Pam Blalock)
November 10, 1942
Miss Smith, a personal secretary to J.J. Worthington felt a lump in her throat as she watched her employer leave his office to retire for the day. When Smitty, as her friends called her, first began to work for J.J. he was a handsome, ambitious man. He had a beautiful young wife and a chubby baby daughter. Mr. Worthington worked very hard to give his family everything they wanted, but they didn’t appreciate his tireless efforts. The daughter, who was now twenty-one years old, spoiled and selfish, spent all of her time at the various summer resorts in search of an eligible husband. Of course her mother had to accompany her as a chaperone. Neither one of them gave a thought to the lonely man who supplied them with all their spending money.
Miss Smith was thinking all of this over and she became furious when she thought of the fact that it was only a week before Christmas and her boss had already received a wire from his wife telling him to please forgive her, but she wouldn’t be able to come home for the holidays as she had accepted an invitation to spend Christmas with the ultra social Van Tiers. Poor J.J., he would have to eat Christmas dinner all alone in that big, empty house. He would be so sad and lonely. Well! “I’ll see to it that this Christmas will be the best he has ever seen,” said Smitty. Before she could change her mind, she grasped the phone and put through a long distance phone call to the Mrs. informing her that Mr. Worthington had a sudden heart attack and it was imperative that she return immediately.
The following day while J.J. was in conference, his very capable secretary notified the florist to decorate his house with the brightest holiday flowers. She also called the maid and the butler and told them her scheme so they could prepare for the homecoming properly. On the 23rd of December, two very excited and anguished women were rushed to the dying bed of Mr. Worthington, but instead they found a tired, lonely but well, man. Something clicked inside of them; they were so glad he wasn’t ill. Mother and daughter embraced J.J. and showered him with kisses and I guess you know how happy he felt.
The next day Miss Smith found a ten dollar increase in her pay envelope.