“Back in the old days,” before the widespread use of vaccines , my siblings and I suffered through the rounds of childhood diseases: mumps, chicken pox, and measles. Fortunately, we were not left with any lasting effects, except for the Christmas that never was celebrated. The year was about 1957 and the “hard measles” were making the rounds of the school, affecting my two brothers, one sister, and myself. The entire two weeks at Christmas was the most miserable for all of us (and probably for our parents, too).
We did not want any lights on, the drapes opened, nor the television turned on. I have no memories of that holiday season except all of us made for one sick family. There was no Christmas cheer to be had.
Earlier, at about four years of age, I had the chicken pox. However, I must not have been quite as ill. Going upstairs to bed one night I commented to my brother, “Anybody who has the chicken pox is a chicken.” He thought that was so funny, he turned around and went back to tell it to our parents.
The love of puns had struck at any early age!