Papa Noel had to continue to spread cheer and such
Papa Noel had to continue to spread cheer on his steam train runs in Cedar Park, Texas. The show had to go on with the day after one second made a big difference in a recent football contest. I had to continue to spread cheer on two, separate Sunday, round trip train runs with 600 people each from Cedar Park, Texas to a small town called Bertrand. I simply told the adults that they had already got their present with a gift of one second [when the University of Texas with a field goal beat the University of Nebraska by one point]. Everyone knew what I meant. And I accomplished making many of them comfortable so I could concentrate on quality time with their children and grandchildren. My wife, Sara Boyden Hamsa and I, Chuck, had roots in Nebraska back to the days when our now deceased parents; Lewis and Sue Boyden, Tecumseh, Nebraska, and William R. and Anna Marie Hamsa, Sr., Omaha, Nebraska; had University of Nebraska football tickets for years. We did not know each other at a time when we would take the customary Saturday trip to Lincoln with our parents for home games. We got to sit on the rough wooden bleachers, forming the knot hole sections in the unfinished end zones. Good heavens! That was nearly 60 years ago! Sara and I moved recently after spending many years in Cajun country, Lafayette, Louisiana, to Cedar Park to be close to our two paternal, grandchildren, forming part of the family of Mike and Julie Hamsa. I got the chance to continue my volunteer appearances as Papa Noel when I got on board with the Austin Steam Train Association. This is the most successful tourist attraction in our city of Cedar Park. Our city sits on the northwest corner of Austin. But I was *not* expecting the scene when train hopping Papa Noel encountered a beautiful two year old child with her parents. I thought that she was trying to sign language when I followed her laborious efforts to work with her fingers. And low and behold! She successfully completed the “hook em horns” sign! I realized that the outcome of an athletic contest did not mean as much as these parents working to ground their young daughter with a solid foundation for both family and tradition. Let us hope that we see such efforts continue.