Vickie O'Tuel and Harold O'Tuel

Vickie O’Tuel and Harold O’Tuel are pictured above.

I am a little boy not quite four years old. Please bring me a cowboy suit, Tommy Gun, army jeep, fruit, nuts and candy. Also remember Mother and Daddy. Thank you. I live at 207 N. Herman Street. Sammy Watson

I am nine years old and in the fourth grade. I want a doll and clothes, doll house, a monopoly game, bedroom shoes, housecoat, pajamas, and please remember Mother, Daddy and little brother. Joyce Taylor

Please bring me a soldier suit, some trucks, pistol and telephone. Also fruit, nuts and candy. Remember my small brother Ernest Woodley. Howard H. Triplett

Please bring me a Junior Miss hat shop, game, housecoat, bedroom shoes, locket, candy, nuts and fruits. Bring Daddy a pair of bedroom shoes. Thank you, Jo Ann Hales

If you can, please bring me a bicycle. I know the war has made it hard to get several things. If you can’t bring me a bicycle bring me a desk. There will be a gift under the Christmas tree for you. Mary B. Bass

Bring me a drum, machine gun and hat. Homer Camp Jr.

I am a little girl five years old. I want you to bring me a bracelet, necklace, ring, fruit, nuts and candy. My brother who is four years old would like to have a gun and holster set, and anything else you would like to bring. Don’t forget my cousin, Janice Heath. Annette Ham

Bring my baby brother a duck that walks

I’m a boy of six and have tried to be good. Please bring me a pistol with holster, helmet, army suit, doctor set, candy, fruit and nuts. Dean Best

I’m a five year old boy. Bring me a gun and holster set, horn and monkey suit, fruit, nuts and candy. Remember my Uncle Bog. Walter Lane

Please bring me a coat, gloves, bicycle, skates, over shoes, fountain pen, ear muffs. I will leave you a piece of cake and a glass of milk. Mary M. Potts

Bring me a doll, bed, horse, desk, chair, ice box, fruit, nuts, candy. Barbara Ann Ingram

I would like a finance game, cap pistol and caps if you have them, and a big paint set. Hunter Tillman, WHP (War Housing Project)

Bring me a basketball, black board, firetruck, jeep, fruit, nuts, candy. Don’t forget Brother Billy. Gerald Pate

I am a little boy five years old. I want you to bring me a red truck, pistol and holster, machine gun and a box of candy. Please bring Lee Gordon a wheel barrow, baby doll, and a gun. Bring my baby brother, Doug, a duck that walks, and a red wagon. Johnnie Wilbert Smith

I am a little girl six years old and I have been very good. Please bring me a cart, train, airplane, rocking horse, box of chocolate candy, doll with hair and some fruit and nuts, also a pair of shoes size eight and a bracelet. Shirley Ann Wiggins, Seven Springs

I want worse of all my daddy and granddaddy to come home

Please bring me anything you want to. I am 11 years old. Kathryn Edwards

I want a doll, carriage, necklace, tea set and shoes. Don’t forget Uncle Frank in the Navy. Betty Grace Radford, State Hospital

I want a ball and hat, nice game, writing desk. Don’t forget my brother in service, stationed at Camp Campbell, Ky. Merle Darden, Route 4, Mount Olive

Bring me a table, chair set, tea set, iron, ironing board, doll, doll bed, pocket book, ring with blue set, fruit and candy. Betty Carol Jones

Please bring me a wagon, tractor, pistol, machine gun. Bring my sister, Mary Margaret, a gold locket. Johnnie Hooks

I want a doll that opens and shuts her eyes, gloves, bedroom slippers, black board, riding pants, dress, skirt, sweater, fruit, nuts and candy. Annette Paschall

I am a little girl three years old. Please bring me a doll, carriage, bathrobe, and a pair of bedroom slippers. Also fruits, nuts, and candy. Please bring it to my grandmother’s in Dunn. I will be there for Christmas. Brenda Joyce Allen

I am a boy three years old. Please bring me a tractor, hammer, telephone, fruits and nuts. I want worse of all my daddy and granddaddy to come home. Thank you. Duland Price, Fremont

I want a plane, train, boat and atomic bomb

I am a little girl sixteen months old. Please bring me a baby grand piano, telephone, picture books, ball, baby doll and please don’t forget my Carnation milk, Thank you. Charlotte Kay McBarron

Please bring me a wagon, teddy bear, a truck, ball, and lots of candy and grapes. Please remember my daddy who is in Manila. Gene Vinson

Please bring me a choo-choo train, wheel barrow, shovel and truck. I will leave you some cookies and hot chocolate on the stove. Thank you. Billy Vinson

Bring me a doll, crayons, socks, fruit, nuts and candy. Lavie Hollowell

I am a little girl seven years old. I have been a good girl and want you to bring me a doll, a long white evening dress, pair of white gloves and anything else you want to. Remember all the rest of the little girls and boys. Helen Marie Hinson

Bring me a black board with all colors of chalk, fireworks, doll and carriage, and fill my stocking to the brim. Effie Mae Lancaster, Patetown

Bring me a cowboy suit, cap pistol, caps. Bring the same thing to my brother, Vernon. Robert and Vernon Sorrell, Fremont

I want a doctor’s set, watercolors, plane, train, boat, zylophone, atomic bomb. Jimmy O’Tuel, War Housing Project

I want a wagon if you can’t find a bicycle, a train, plane, boat, doctor’s set, games and books. Harold O’Tuel, War Housing Project

Bring me a doll and bed, hobby horse, piano, monkey, and a princess set. Vickie O’Tuel

By 1956, Prentis Harold O’Tuel, like so many little boys and girls writing Santa letters in 1945, had matured into a popular Goldsboro High School senior and was voted by his classmates as “The most likely to succeed.”

He lived up to the billing and he and his high school sweetheart, Carolyn Ford, have enjoyed much success in business as Mr. and Mrs. O’Tuel. They live in Greensboro.

Not to be outdone, Harold’s sister, Vickie, as a 1961 senior, was voted as “best all around.” She was also crowned the Varsity Club Sweetheart. It was written, “A favorite not only of the Club, but the entire student body, she was chosen on the basis of character, personality, beauty and service.” She was also head cheerleader. She passed at the age of 73 in Warsaw. Their brother Jimmy, became a successful minister, but died young at the age of 48.

Bring me a scooter, battle ship, telephone, truck, piano, lots of fruit, nuts and candy. Jimmie Sloan, Mount Olive

Bring me a doll, doll bed, baby blanket, bedroom shoes, socks, telephone, dresser set, fruit, nuts and candy. Sylvia Stevens

Bring me a doll, doll bed, and blanket, telephone, dresser set, bedroom shoes, socks, fruit, nuts and candy. Gail Stevens 

I will leave a Pepsi-Cola for you to drink beside my stocking

Bring me a cap pistol, Bible story book, fountain pen, bedroom shoes, books, cap and fireworks. Bobby Buck

Bring me an ice truck, cap pistol, jeep with trailer, steam shovel, bedroom shoes and fireworks. David Earl Buck

Bring me a cap pistol, bedroom shoes, cap, books, nice game, fireworks. Kenneth Buck

I want a wagon. If you can’t find a wagon bring a scooter, a black board, tinker toy set, train, crayons and note book. Billy Jack Phifer

Bring me a ring, sewing set, bracelet, black board, color book, fruit, nuts and candy. Betty Lou Coker, New Hope

Bring me a doll, rocking chair, house coat, bedroom slippers, pull toy cat. Nancy Carole Kearney

I want a doll carriage big enough for Nancy, my largest doll, sweaters and skirts, and something else nice. Betsy Jane Lang, Jackson

Please bring an ankle bracelet with my name on it, an airplane, a drum and anything to eat you have. Thanks. P.S. I will leave a Pepsi-cola for you to drink beside my stocking. Evelyn Stith

Letters would continue to be written by little children after the war. But in December 1946, another positive note was written from the Green Branch section, a neighborhood not far from Corbett Hill. It would express sentiments of all the people:

“Well, there are only a few more days until Christmas. We all should rejoice and be very thankful, for this is the first Christmas in four or five years but that most of our boys have been away in service. We are wishing each and every one a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

From yours truly, here’s wishing you a blessed Christmas and all the best during 2019. While my recent columns have mingled themselves with happy thoughts and reflections of war, I trust that all of us will remember and celebrate the birth of the Christ Child with proper reverence. The same who evolved, without degrees and accolades, into the greatest teacher and exemplar of all the ages.

His goal was to bless hearts with the capacity to love, a greater gift than any material possession could ever bring.

After all is said and done, I think the little children who were asking for fruits, nuts and candy were as happy as today’s crop of youngsters. So many already have more “things” stuffed into toy chests and scattered over bedroom floors than they can possibly ever play with.

Older children may well be disappointed if the tree is not under-spread with iPads, Apple watches, expensive video gaming systems or extravagant garments of clothing. More affluent teens may have elevated dreams of Corvettes, a tour of Europe or a cruise to Bermuda.

But, I say give and receive all the love that you can. That, you will not have to take back to the merchant for exchange, for it is a gift guaranteed to satisfy every human longing.

Sherwood Williford writes a weekly column for the News-Argus. Contact him at 919-440-8811, or P.O. Box 175, Princeton, NC 27569.