EDITOR'S NOTE: Each week through our Dec. 21 edition, the Webster County Citizen will feature a favorite Christmas memory told by a Seymour-area resident. This week's feature is about the Dean Matney family, as told by Delores Matney.
The Christmas memory I want to share happened in 1968. Dean, my husband, was very active in the Lions Club activities, sports and Lodge. He and his friends from those groups loved to play practical jokes on each other.
Every year the Webster County Citizen printed letters to Santa in the paper during the month of December. That year a letter to Santa from Dean mysteriously appeared in the paper. It said he (Dean) had been a good boy and wanted Santa to bring him a pony, a drum and a red wagon for Christmas.
On Christmas Eve, after celebrating Christmas with my parents, Dean, our 15-year-old daughter Kathy and I came home to find a pony with a red ribbon around its neck eating a bale of hay on our front porch. A red wagon with a drum inside stood next to the pony.
Dean was in a panic; Kathy was embarrassed; and I was mad at Dean's friends for doing this on Christmas Eve. I heard later that Puss Heckendorn bought the pony at a sale barn after collecting money from the people on the square here in Seymour. I guess he collected more than he needed, because after he bought the pony, wagon and drums, he went back and refunded the extra money.
Other practical jokers in the group were Clifford Winslow, Bob Hopkins, Tom and Harry Jennings, Wayne Barlow, Glen Kennemer, Lee Binley, Jammie Litty and Max Good but I guess half the town came by and watched them set up the pony on our porch that night.
Fortunately, my brother Bradley Burr, who lived on a farm south of Diggins, came and got the pony off of our front porch. After a short ride in his pickup, it found a new home on his farm with his cattle.
Our son, Brian Dean Matney, who was born that March, played with the wagon and drums until he outgrew them. That little drum started a love of drumming that carried over into high school, though, and he still plays the drums today.
To this day we talk about the pony on our porch when our family gets together for Christmas.