Marshal Homer Gray
When Homer was just a little boy growing up on the farm in Missouri, he learned early to value the little things.
I still remember, one Christmas on the farm, as he sat comfortably in his recliner in the corner of the living room, enjoying watching his grandchildren unwrapping holiday gifts. A sweat shirt, a toy, a book, a collectible horse figure. Something for each of us, and even then I knew that he was very proud of his family and that each of us had a gift beneath the tree. I've always been one for nostalgia, and so it was natural to me to ask him then, "Grandpa, when you were little, what would you ask for for Christmas?" He thought for a moment, and you could see the cherished memories reflecting in the corner of his eye, and he told us all. "One year, my dad carved me a wooden car with wheels that rolled...but most years, we were so excited to get new socks, and an orange." The holidays mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but since that Christmas on the farm, every Christmas, I buy a bag of oranges, and make sure to tell anyone who will listen, how excited Homer was to get an orange for Christmas when he was just a boy.