A Christmas Memory

A Christmas Memory
A Christmas Memory
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In a small town in Alabama in 1934, Buddy, 7, lives with his cousins, three elderly spinsters, in an old farm house. His mama is off trying to be an actress, and his daddy is in New Orleans trying to forget mama. Sometimes he feels like all he has in the world is his favorite companion, his wonderfully nutty, child-like Cousin Sook, who is in her 60s. She is Buddy’s guide to the simple joys in life — such as counting all your pennies. Stern, reproachful Cousin Jennie, the arbiter of all matters of consequence in the household, thinks Sook is wasting the boy’s time. Cousin Callie, the youngest of the sisters, feels no harm is being done, but isn’t likely to stand up to Jennie any time soon. When Sook is teaching Buddy to make her special Christmas fruitcake, and they innocently decide to sample the special ingredient — whiskey — they get a bit silly. Jennie is not amused and decides it’s time to send Buddy off to military school. Buddy is beside himself with anger and fear, but Jennie’s word is final. As Christmas approaches, Buddy is glad to see that military school is not a topic of conversation, and begins to hope it has been forgotten. Buddy and Sook go on an adventure to find the perfect Christmas tree, and make the most of what looks like their last Christmas together. They give each other kites and fly them together on Christmas morning. But there, among Buddy’s gifts, is a military school uniform, a gift from Cousin Jennie. A few days later, Buddy is packed and ready to go to his new school. Jennie and Sook argue, and Sook wins the right to take Buddy, alone, to the station and the train that will take him off to school. The young boy and the old woman sadly part. Buddy is still in school when Sook loses her will to live, and dies. Years later he returns to visit Sook’s grave, and sees a vision of his dear old friend come back to encourage him. And off in the distance, as if a sign, he sees two carefree children, flying their kites.

  • Patty Duke
  • Eric Lloyd
  • Piper Laurie
  • Jeffrey DeMunn
  • Anita Gillette
  • Julia McIlvaine
  • Esther Scott
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