Its Christmas Eve here in Fargo and the evening is winding down. Since my brothers and their families are with the in-laws this year, it’s just mom, dad, and I. Earlier we had a few other folks over after church to share a Scandinavian meal of Swedish meatballs, potatoes, potato sausage, and lefsa, with rice pudding topped with lingonberries for dessert.
Mark Moore entertained us throughout the evening by reciting poetry and telling stories from his long life. He described how he learned songs from a cowboy in while mending fences in Montana and learned to play harmonica while in Alaska for officers training; he compared his experience fighting the Germans in WWII with what is going on in Iraq; and he recounted numerous near death experiences, including falling through ice when he was 16 into 65 feet of water–with his ice skates on. At age 86, Mark has now been retired for three weeks, having finished his job at the 12th Avenue toll booth where his has worked for that last sixteen years.
The highlight of the evening was listening to a medley of cowboy songs, big band tunes, old-timey hymns, and Christmas carols played by my dad on Venezuelan ukulele and Mark on harmonica.
Soon I’ll go out for my traditional midnight ice skate, a fitting end to this good Christmas Eve.