October 21, 1995
So, here we are, well into another great fall season in Oklahoma, and some of the most brilliant foliage you'll see anywhere is on display virtually in your own backyard. Just look around at the colors nature has provided for our enjoyment right here in Perry. A good example would be the beautiful trees of Myrna and Ernie Stoops across the street from us. Lots of folks drive by just to look at them. Wonderful colors.
And we're just getting started with the change of seasons. In rapid-fire order we'll have to turn our clocks back one hour, I celebrate Halloween, feast on Thanksgiving, enjoy the Christmas Home Tour and all the other events leading up to the glorious climax on Christmas day when we remember the birth of our Saviour, the Prince of Peace. Amen!
With all of those glorious things lying in store, it's a shame to toss in a smidgen of negativism here, but unfortunately I have to face this matter every year at this time. It's a problem I have, you see, and the crux of it is an allergy to chocolate. Yes, that universally loved flavor which most of you take for granted has become a no-no for me in recent years, perhaps because of a history of overindulgence dating back to pre-adolescence. Growing up behind the soda fountain at the City Drug Store made it possible for me to sample endless supplies of Snickers, Mr. Goodbars, Hershey's, Tangos, Three Musketeers, Milky Ways, Heath bars, Butterfingers, TwentyFive Carats, Baby Ruths, Mound's bars, and other delectable candies, not to mention heaping plates of homemade fudge, devil's food cake and brownies supplied by two sisters and a mother who loved to cook and needed someone to sample their delicacies. I was always a willing subject.
From such a background certain habits are formed, like an undying love for anything remotely related to chocolate. A boyhood friend, Ross Johnson, almost convinced me that eating too much candy would certainly bring on sugar diabetes, an ailment I only vaguely understood. It sounded serious and I did cut back a little, but when I learned that Ross' prognosis was flawed, I resumed full-scale attacks on the candy counter.
Later, during my advanced teenhood, Wuzzy Jones once gently suggested that the cause of my recurring facial hickies might be the daily doses of chocolate bars and nickel Cokes I consumed at the fountain of Monte Jones' drug store. A stab at moderation indicated she was right, but it was still not enough to slam the door shut. I kept thinking the problem with my complexion would clear up with age, anyway, and so it did.
But now, in full-scale maturity and senior citizen status, I am told by reliable medical authorities that my problem with migraine headaches can assuredly be related to an allergy to chocolate, among other things. Most of the "other things" are not hard to give up, but I am still trying to cope with a reduction of chocolate intake. It is not easy to break such a habit. I quit smoking 30 years ago and the trauma associated with that discipline was nothing compared to this. I haven't resorted to hiding candy bars in the light fixtures or things like that, because a little chocolate ice cream once in a while seems to be safe enough, so I still get a periodic fix.
But gone are the days of reveling in the plethora of holiday snacks, at least those with chocolate in them, offered by hostesses everywhere at this time of year. Temptation beckons in the form of chocolate covered cherries and numerous other delicacies, but I have paid the price of excess in the past and hopefully the stamina is there to enable abstinence.
One thing you can do for me, if you wish. Next time the platter of goodies is passed around, when you lift up one of those succulent chocolate-flavored morsels and pop it into your mouth, whisper my name. I'll know.