The old beautiful Christmas lights

I can remember as a 15 year old kid, going back and forth every two weeks from Morganton to near Spartanburg. My parents lived in Morganton, but I, at the time had asthma pretty bad, and the doctors advised my dad to let me go back to SC where the climate was more friendly to my condition.

Long story short. It was at Christmas time in 1965 when my dad came to SC to pick me up so I could spend a few days with him and my mom. We always had to drive through Shelby. When we were passing through here, I begged my dad to turn around and let’s go look at all the lights. And we did. I fell in love with this town when I was a kid.

On the trip back the following weekend, I remarked to my dad that I would one day live in this town. I even proposed to my ex-wife in this town, after I had brought her here to see those beautiful Christmas lights. It was those clear lights that shined so beautifully. Even she was impressed with them. That was 14 years after I had made the remark to my dad. After all those years, I still remembered those lights at Christmas.

When I moved to Shelby in late January of 1997, I fulfilled my dream. My dad had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and Shelby was pretty much halfway between Spartanburg and Morganton. I had met some new friends from here, and they allowed me to stay with them until I could find work and get on my feet.

It wasn’t long until we had the devastating ice storm that took a lot of those beautiful lights out, but the leadership keeps telling us that they have no money to replace them. Yet, they have enough money to do other things, like prop up nonprofits and such. Why don’t they try to get the lights back. Trust me, it would bring in some traffic. Why not take some of that tourism taxes and make this the City of Pleasant Living once again? What do we have to lose?

Oh, excuse me, I forgot. The commissioners said that they need a few more years to make some things happen. Sorry, commissioners, you don’t have that long to make it happen.

Memories by Hal Trammell