Jeff Green | Dec 18, 2008
Christmas 2008 - Christmas Cake
Back toHomeChristmas Edition - December 18, 2008Christmas 2008
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The Special Giftby Hope AttawayChristmas Cakeby John Diamond
My mother used to make about a dozen Christmas cakes every year. She would give them away as gifts: to the mailman, to the milkman, to the nice lady at the bank. So packed with ingredients, one piece was the equivalent of eating a vat of porridge. One winter, many years ago, I was included in a youth group trip to New York City. Mother insisted that I bring one of these cakes to give to the family where I was to be billeted. I could not decline to do so; but I really did not want to. It was so nerdy.
We were to travel by overnight train. The group consisted of about 20 of us and included youth leaders who were to make sure we behaved. We had our own car complete with a porter who had expected a drinking party. He had a supply of ice and mixers. We were not what he had in mind. He looked disappointed and a little amused. Our car was the last one on the train and maybe the heat did not work as well as it should have or maybe it was the excitement of going to New York, but by midnight I was cold, hungry and awake.
My berth mate was Harold Segalowitz. I had told him about the Christmas cake. He wanted to know if I was sleeping and if the cake was handy. He too was feeling peckish.
I brought it out. Soon we were devouring this brick of a cake. Others heard the sound of our euphoria. By Albany, New York, the cake was gone.
We arrived at Central Station not well rested, but with very full stomachs.
I never did give my billet the Christmas cake and I do not remember what I told my mother.
As for Harold Segalowitz, I have not seen him since.