Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Mrs. Claus’s Story

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Mrs. Claus’s Story


SHE’S BACK. Hard to believe this is the 14th Christmas season for Mrs. Claus to make her appearance promoting Nashville businesses.

In 2002 when she was president of the Arkansas Press Association, my late wife Jane and I went to the National Newspaper Association annual meeting (the Arkansas Press Association always sends its current president and spouse). The meeting was in Portland, Ore.

One of the convention programs dealt with having some sort of really unusual promotions to boost a newspaper’s advertising sales. The speaker talked about a project at his own smalltown newspaper. His promotion involved using Christmas elves.

ZAP! An idea struck the Arkie.

And just like that Mrs. Claus was born, not in a cocktail lounge or prison recreation room as some persons have hurtfully gossiped.

She emerged in her $5 red dress (purchased along with the red bonnet and matching handbag found in a stack at Friends, Inc.) for the Christmas of 2003, our first at the ‘Nashville Leader.’ Our next-door friend JJ White at Tollett’s Gifts donated a red cape (which Mrs. Claus has since overflowed) and a heavy string of faux pearls.

Mrs. Claus started out wearing some ankle hose and household slippers, but the slippers finally fell apart and she had to resort to other footwear. Someone donated lipstick and Mrs. Claus’s daughter found a $1 wig at a flea market. The wig looked like it cost a dollar, too! More important — it looked like it was un-worn.

That first year she was invited (and accepted) to ride on the hospital’s float in the parade. No invitations since then, but this year Santa invited her to ride along with him on the firetruck. She turned him down on the grounds that she didn’t want to have to climb way up there on that firetruck.

One year Mrs. Claus was invited to speak at a pep rally before a Scrapper game in the playoffs. She accepted and must’ve done well because the team won.

Some people tackily suggest I have too much fun dressing in women’s clothes. But, I only do it once a year!

This is probably the only newspaper in the United States that has Mrs. Claus for a mascot.


NOT ALONE. Voters in the US of A are not alone in picking a maverick ‘populist’ candidate in national elections. Most of the major nations of Europe are currently involved in elections, and many of the have their own Trumps who reflect unhappiness with immigration and the European Union.

Most of the people in those other nations are also very tired of the Alabama Crimson Tide, and hope they lose in the playoffs.


JUST IN TIME for Christmas. It was several days ago, I think, when I first noticed that my right eyeball was sore. Then I noticed that one of my eyelashes was long and white. Then the eyelid got red, and the eye poured copious tears.

It had been decades since I had suffered through a ‘stye’ in my eye, but I got one this year just in time for Christmas. I ‘Googled’ stye and found out that there are several acceptable spellings — stie, sty, or stye.

Don’t matter how you spell it, it hurts and it is danged inconvenient. Thankfully I was through dressing up as Mrs. Claus so I didn’t have complications resulting from smudged makeup.

I also ‘Googled’ how best to treat a sty, stie and/or stye. According to Mr. Google, there is only one kind of stye that responds to treatment. There is such a thing as a Christmas Stye which is best treated with eggnog. Not the kind of eggnog my Baptist friends claim to enjoy, but the kind that my Irish grandmother used to put together to make sure the kids drifted off to sleep. And made the adults want to dance an Irish jig.

But that’s another story and I am sure you wouldn’t be interested.


GOING BOWLING. Since I am the Number One Fair Weather Fan of the Arkansas Razorbacks I feel compelled to make a statement upon learning that we will play Virginia Tech in a bowl waaaaaay across America at a place called Charlotte, North Carolina.

The VT team is called the ‘Hokies,’ and also ‘Gobblers.’ I have no idea what a Hokie is, but I recognize a Gobbler when I see it on the Thanksgiving table. VT’s colors are orange and maroon. Can you imagine? Since I’m suffering from a sty, stie and/or stye, I can’t even bear to look at an orange and maroon Hokie.

They will beat us by 40 points.


THINGS I LEARNED from reading email: “Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane?”


HE SAID: “Bores can be divided into two classes: Those who have their own particular subject, and those who do not need a subject.” A.A. Milne, author


SHE SAID: “They say it is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but how about a compromise like moderately rich and just moody?” Princess Diana



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