CHRISTMAS MEMORIES: Binc BAWDEN loved to be a showman
George Ray BAWDEN, Jr was born in Davenport, Scott, Iowa to George Ray and Viola DUVALL BAWDEN on 7 Mar 1924 at 161 Forest Road. Ray had the house built before his marriage to Vi and it was out in the boonies then.
He loved to be a showman...Christmas was his best!
One year, he borrowed the neighbor's Radio Flyer and, while we were in bed, dumped 400 silver dollars in the wagon. Not very quietly...these heavy coins hitting the metal wagon!
When he got them from the bank, he also got 4 bank bags, the cloth kind. On Christmas day, the 4 of us children had to count out 100 silver dollars each and put them in the bag. I still have my bank bag.
Binc was the president of a full-service advertising company, BAWDEN Brothers, Inc. He took 400 1-dollar bills and had them made into $100 tablets complete with the cardboard back. We had to run to the convenience store for batteries for toys and we started tearing off $1 bills and the clerk wouldn't sell the batteries because he was sure the money was counterfit.
One Christmas, he gave mom a Honda scooter so she could ride down the hill to the convenience store or grocery store, or to friends for early-morning coffee or 5:00 cocktails. Dad and the 2 boys had the scooter delivered Christmas eve day and put in the garage. They diverted Mom and brought the scooter in the house and put it in the living room by the tree. You can imagine Mom's surprise Christmas morning.
One Christmas, he bought tickets and made reservations for Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, a spot they'd been going to for several years. He had Mom go on a scavenger hunt in the house with very creative clues. He held the plane tickets in his hand when she was directed back to the living room.
The last memory was interesting...must have been the early 60s. He bought Mom a gorgeous watch with a diamond bezell, found a big red glass round ornament, stuffed it with cotton and put the watch in the ornament and hung it on the tree. When we were done opening presents, Dad asked the boys to get a spoon and bring it to Mom. He told her there was one more present hanging on the tree. There was no way she could tell where. He brought her the ornament and told her to break it. Of course Mom didn't want to break this pretty ornament but we got her a towel and put it on her lap. She hit the ornament several times and it wouldn't break. Then we told her to hit it hard. It broke in several pieces and there was the watch.
Christmas day held the "what will Dad do this year" kind of excitement.
Dad's been gone since 1 Mar 1986