Friday, November 30, 2007
Christmas Day, 1974. I ran from my bed to my parents bed to announce that Santa had come. The only problem was the time read 4:30 AM. After a few protests, I went begrudgingly back to bed.
Several hours later, I woke up again and grabbed the closest present under the tree. It was a genuine Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle - just like I asked Santa down at Sears.
Like Ralphie in "A Christmas Story", this was the greatest Christmas present I had received or ever will receive. The many hours I spent hurtling Evel on his Harley over toy trucks, buses, and the occasional anthill doubling for the Snake River Canyon became some of the most vivid and exciting memories of my childhood.
Many kids of my generation got those Stunt Cycles - to the tune of $300 million dollars (in 1970s money). Many Christmases were just like mine.
Evel Knievel died yesterday after a long, action-packed, controversial, and even violent life on this Earth. At a time when America needed heroes badly, Knievel filled the bill quite well throughout the 1970s.
I recall seeing an actual Knievel Christmas card on an online auction site almost seven years ago (asking price $500). Since then, I have searched high and low to find anything Knievel and anything Christmas related to no avail.
I'm heading to Sears to ask Santa if he could bring me this CD for Christmas this year.