Henry’s Christmas Memory

"Barbara, Hugh and Henry Cleage"
Barbara, Hugh and Henry Cleage

This is another memory from the December 1990 Ruff Draft, a family newsletter we put out for 5 years.  My daughter Ayanna interviewed my Uncle Henry and wrote this from the interview.  The photo was probably taken several years earlier than the memory.  It was taken by the house on Scotten on the old west side of Detroit about 1925.


Henry Cleage remembers when his Aunt Gertrude won a nice new shiny bike.  He just knew she would give it to him for Christmas.  On Christmas Eve he was sitting in the living room with his father after the younger kids had gone to bed.  His father said, “Henry, go over to your Aunt’s and get that bike … for Hugh.”  Henry thought he would never enjoy Christmas again, but that after seeing Hugh so happy with the bike he decided it was all worth it.  Even so he said that Christmas was never the same for him.  It had lost some of the magic.

7 thoughts on “Henry’s Christmas Memory

  1. I used to love the Ruff Draft. What a novel idea. It was Facebook before Facebook as it related to keeping up with the happenings of the family.

    What a great story!!! Thanks for sharing! Will you ever take the rough draft issues live on a website??

  2. You mean run the whole issue from the past? maybe sometime next year. I saw the one where you were person of the month the other day.

  3. LOL. How cool!!! I want Bailey to start a newsletter. Maybe she can call you for some tips. She LOVES to write and draw. Interview. She loves to send and receive mail. I think she would get a kick out of it. She could do an on-line one. lol…

    If you ever post a copy …I will let her see it. She would get such a rush! Thanks Kris.

  4. Oh Kristin! Great post. Bittersweet, real and a little funny all at once.

    My daughter was teasing me about the time I broke it to her (she was in her mid 20s) that Santa was more about giving than receiving. She remembers it as trauma. I'd say maturity, but perhaps they're the same thing. Henry was SO young to have learned that.

  5. When Henry was telling the story I got the feeling he just tacked on that part about seeing Hugh so happy for the benifit of the younger family members. I think he really still wanted that bike!

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