A Hoptown Chronicle advent story

Church, family were focus of Christmas when a father was drafted in WWII

Later, the son and his wife would carry on the same traditions with their children.

My Christmas memories mostly involve family and the church.

Jerry Brockman
Jerry Brockman

When I was growing up, my father, even with a wife, five children and 36 years old, was drafted into the Navy during World War II. He served on LST 741 (a tank landing ship) and was in on four invasions in the Pacific.

Mother toughed it out and always got us to Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church for Baby Jesus and made sure Santa came on Christmas, too. We were somehow comforted until Dad came home. At that time, Mother noticed our front door key bore the number 741, the same as Dad’s ship.

Later, my wife, Joan, and I tried to make Christmas special for our four children.

They were pretty good in church and I don’t think entirely because Santa was coming, as well as Baby Jesus.

Our oldest son was a fan of Westerns and always wanted a cap pistol and holster set. He was a very slender boy and the holsters were always slipping down on him. One Christmas he emphatically wanted only a “two-gun holster set that would stay up.”

Santa got a set at Cayce-Yost Department Store and took it to Paige’s cobbler shop on South Virginia Street and had a few inches taken out of the waist. It stayed up and made a little boy very happy.

(Jerry Brockman is a native of Hopkinsville. A retired stockbroker and former member of the Chicago Board of Trade, he returned to his hometown in retirement. Jerry’s late father, George Brockman, was a Hopkinsville city councilman. Like his father, Jerry is a Navy veteran.)