Once upon a time, there was a little boy...
He was born at the beginning of the last century, a poor little boy from a very poor family. His father abandoned them; at some point his Mom gave he and a sister to his grandparents to raise.
The little boy grew and, as little boys do, managed to end up the wrong place at the wrong time, and being the wrong color as well, in the South, early in the last century, was sent to a children's home. There he learned a craft, and mastering it like no one had before him, rapidly gained fame.
His fame took him north, and continued to grow. His amazing talent saw him raise his status in life beyond the wildest dreams he could have hoped for. It also cost him his first 3 marriages...
Constantly traveling, giving much of himself to those who came to see him, he married again in his early 40's. By this time he was known all over the world. They said there wasn't a country you could visit where the mention of him didn't bring a smile!
After the 2nd World War ended, they traveled together, and she decided that though they were constantly on the move, she would surprise him with a Christmas tree. When he came back to their hotel room, he was indeed surprised!
As was she! Because this grown man cried like a child! She watched him sob and sob and finally got him to explain why he was crying so...
He had never, ever, had a Christmas tree before! Not one that was "his"! In his entire life!
He was so enraptured by the tree she had set up for him that he insisted they take it with them, and she later said that for 6 months after, every time they moved, she set that Christmas tree up for him in their new hotel room!
The little boy's name?
I read that in the liner notes of the Louis Armstrong "Memorial Album" that RCA issued after his death; each year and with every tree I see, I think of it and him.
And I am grateful!
Thank you, Pops!