I was born in 1971, and my early Christmases are best remembered as times I convinced myself each year that I could eat an entire turkey leg, or when I tore open green wrapping paper to expose Star Wars figures while listening to my entire family fight from the moment they got out of bed to the time I went to bed. Today, I view Christmas as the only time I get to see my family and the only chance I have to watch A Christmas Story on loop for 24 hours. With the exception of my kid, I am the only other person in my family who loves this movie. So it was only natural I had to go visit the house that was used for the exterior shots in the movie while I was in Cleveland.
I remember when I used to work at a local paper, my friends Robyn, Nick and I would go out to grab something to drink before we started our work day. We’d stand in line, all three of us holding a different type of beverage—Robyn with hot tea, Nick with chocolate milk, and my own left hand wrapped around a cup of Wawa’s cigarette butt flavored coffee, six sugars and a cup-and-a-half of cream. The background music leaking out of the speakers in the ceiling would surround the air with some 1950’s excuse for Rock and Roll—Fabian begging to be turned loose, Bobby Rydell asking to be held tight or Fats Domino looking for his thrill. I’d turn to robyn and Nick and say, “How did our parents ever like this?” I got my answer to this question in Cleveland.