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26 December 2016 - Merry Christmas Cards

I am writing this edition on the day after Christmas from our home in Arizona where we arrived on Christmas Day, only to find the desert colder than northern Illinois, but lacking the 12 inches of snow on the ground. I want to share a couple of our Christmas cards this year that brought back some great memories. We enjoy all of our cards from friends we know and friends we don’t know, but Gloria and I read them all and we thank you.

How many of you remember the Warp Flex-O-Glass product? When I was growing up on the Wisconsin dairy farm, it was the storm window for farm homes and livestock barns, nailed to the outside of the window in the fall to keep the cold winter winds out and the warmth inside. The company is still with us, based in Chicago, and operated by the current generation, Skip & Mary Warp. For 68 years the company’s greeting card has been a booklet of poetry and great thoughts for the Christmas Season that I enjoy and share with my listeners and readers.

Then a card that really surprised me because it came from a family I met in 1957 when I was covering the International Livestock Exposition at the Chicago Stockyards. Do you remember the names Sue Secondino and Arthur Godfrey?

Sue was a pretty young farm girl from Indiana who surprised veteran cattle show exhibitors by showing the Grand Champion Steer of the 1957 show. It was named “Honeymoon” because she and her husband Pete were newly married. Arthur Godfrey was the king of radio performers nationally with his daily program on CBS Radio and he was the star performer at the International that year and fell in love with the story of the Indiana farm girl.

In addition to interviewing her several times, he showed up at the Grand Champion auction a couple days later and I still remember auctioneer Col. Roy Johnson keeping Godfrey in the bidding until selling it to him for $30.00 a pound for a total of $31,050, an all-time record. Following that experience Arthur told me in an interview “Don’t ever let me go to a livestock auction again!”

That memory came back to me because of a family picture Christmas card from Pete & Sue Secondino. The family has grown greatly since the “Honeymoon” days, but nearly sixty years later they look great and are doing well.

So keep those cards coming and as Bob Hope sang…”thanks for the memories.”

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez