Pat Shingleton: "A Trip to Steckman's"
Jack Steckman’s business provided gravesite services for our community in Pennsylvania. During the Christmas Season he took orders for evergreen wreaths that were placed on the graves of loved ones. Jack would save the left-over, fresh evergreen branches, for our Mum who would construct door decorations. The cold weather kept her displays fresh, long after Epiphany. I remember our grandfather putting me and my brother Kevin into a large cradle-box, attached to a sled, to retrieve the greenery from Steckman’s. Gramps pulled us down a snow-covered Brighton Road and a tenth-of-a-mile trip, would last hours. Getting the “two-boys” out of the house gave mom a break and gave Gramps an opportunity to talk to everyone along the way. At Steckman’s, the evergreen branches were layered into the cradle. When the loading was complete, Gramps would continue his visitations, placing the sled under a snow-laden pine, next to Jack’s driveway. Kevin crawled on-top of the branches whereby an “un-loading” took place. I shook a pine branch, dumping about 15 pounds of snow on him. Gramps was very tired on the return trip as Kevin and I enjoyed a "Nap on the Evergreens."