Published December 24. 2010 4:00AM
Christmas, 1966, would be my first Christmas away from home.
A graduate of Plainfield High School, I had entered the Navy when I turned 18 in September and left for boot camp in Chicago in October.
When we graduated from Navy boot camp at the end of January, we hit the bunks the night before flying out of Chicago for 30 days leave before our next assignment.
But when we woke up the next morning there was six feet of snow, the airport was shut down and Chicago was facing the biggest snow storm in its history up to that point.
A week later, we finally flew home, and my parents picked me up at the airport asking all kinds of questions and saying how sad they were I had missed Christmas.
I had four brothers, all younger. When I arrived home, all my brothers were sitting in the living room staring at all the presents under the still-standing Christmas tree.
They had all waited until I got home. It was a great Christmas after all.