Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Night Before Christmas (with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

Twas the night before Christmas when all through the camp
The captain went strolling with a kerosene lamp.
The tools were all hung in the tool shop with care,
In hopes that Kris Kringle soon would be there.
With the enrollees nestled all snug in their bunks,
The Captain went prowling for raccoons and skunks.
The foremen in wool socks, the LEMs in their shorts,
Were snoring away in a chorus of snorts.

When out by the flagpole there arose such a noise
The captain was worried it might wake his boys.
Away to the mess hall he flew like a flash,
Thinking some dog robber was sampling the hash.
The moonlight on a forest covered in snow
Gave luster of midday to the camp below
When, what to the captain’s tired eyes should appear,
But a shiny stake bed truck rolling up in high gear!

With a little old driver, whose bells gave a jingle,
The captain knew right away it must be Kris Kringle
Smoother than silk that little REO ran
And Old Kris gave a chuckle and waved his gloved hand.
The captain couldn’t be sure, but gazing from afar,
Old Kris Kringle looked a bit like FDR.
Kris pulled the truck up to the mess hall in a slide
Then bounded up the stairs and went inside.

The captain rushed up to peek though the door
Naturally inquisitive, wanting to see more.
Kris didn’t make a sound but kept his eye on the ball,
As he expertly spruced up the camp mess hall.
Red garlands and green streamers he tacked up with care,
Knowing that hungry peavies soon would be there.

A huge holiday feast he prepared in a flash,
Turkey and dressing with no sign of hash!
And over it all Kris spoke a whispered prayer
For the families back home whose boys wouldn’t be there.
“Keep them safe and happy,” Kris whispered with a sigh
And with a gloved hand, wiped a tear from his eye.
Then, having completed an honest night’s work,
Kris turned toward the mess hall door with a jerk.

Then back to the little work truck he dashed
And lifting the clutch, the gas pedal he mashed.
To see that truck speed through camp was a sight,
But the captain knew it would be a busy night.
Kris Kringle had to hustle and be on his way
To visit all the CCC camps before light of day.
But the captain heard Kris exclaim with a flash of headlights,
“Merry Christmas CCC Boys and to all a good night!”

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Buffalo Crossing Camp, Eastern Arizona

Buffalo Crossing Camp, Eastern Arizona