Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Merry Christmas to All

This Post was published originally on 12/21/2020.

For unknown reasons it failed to appear on my Blog page.

If you read it previously, I apologize for my confusion.

 Merry Christmas to All!

 As part of my book launch in Nov, I hosted a FB Launch Party on LitRing’s Facebook page.

The theme was “Westerns,” and the “Yellowstone” series. About 600 people attended on-line as we (LitRing, my publisher, and I) gave away over $200 in prizes to those folks posting on-line. I asked lots of open-ended question to get people participating. A popular question was “who/what was your favorite TV western show/personality”?

 I mentioned Gene Autry was a big favorite at our house because one snowy Christmas in Kansas City, MO in 1942, Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, and a trio of women singers played a two-night gig. (Gene was a BIG Movie Star in those days.) My Dad knew the theater manager and arranged for a few of us to visit backstage before the first show. Never bashful, after listening to the entertainers’ complain about living “out of a suitcase” and eating “hotel food,” Dad invited the whole troupe to our house for a home-style family meal.

 Mom and Dad were doctors, and at the time all seven children lived at home. My two oldest brothers were just discharged from the military and at home. We had a large 6-bedroom two-story home with a banquet-sized dining room, and a full-time cook.

 Gene Autry was coaxed into joining the troupe and stayed until 10 PM when my oldest brother drove him to his hotel in downtown. Gene was a cordial, soft-spoken man. He and my Dad swapped a few stories. (Some of them may have even been true.) Smiley and the woman’s trio spent the night at our house. At the end of the meal, Dad’s favorite expression was, “Eat all the food from your plate – what you don’t finish goes in your pancakes in the morning.”

 Smiley Burnette and my mother hit it off and they stayed in touch with one another for years after Dad passed. She visited him several times on the set of “Petticoat Junction,” a mid-60s TV show where Smiley, as usual, played the comic relief before he passed in 1967. The trio from Southern California had never seen snowfall before and my older brothers took trio sledding in Penn Valley Park as the woman wore the middle kids’ winter gear.

 The next morning, our cook, Suzie, fixed bacon, eggs, hash-browns, and pancakes. One of Suzie’s specialties was pancakes with whole-kernel-corn in the batter. After biting into one of the corn-pancakes, one of the women’s trio said, “WOW! Doctor Dan wasn’t kidding! He put last night’s leftovers in my pancakes.”

 The Christmas visit by Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, and the trio is one of my family’s traditional memories at Christmas. I hope you enjoyed it as much as my family does.

 Frank Kelso


A BIG THANK YOU to all of you who bought and reviewed my latest release, “South in the Fall.” It reach #1 Best seller in its category during launch week and was an Amazon “Hot New Release” for the next 3 weeks.

PPS: Amazon Prime is featuring “The Apprenticeship of Nigel Blackthorn: in Jan & Feb 2021.



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