The Slide Years: Cowboy Christmas

By Eilene Lyon

The Slide Years is a series in which I select an image my dad took from 1957-1982 with Kodachrome slide film, then I write a stream-of-consciousness essay – a sort of mini-memoir.

The year is 1967 and we’re celebrating Christmas at my Smith grandparents’ home in Little Rock, Arkansas, the city I’d been born in six years earlier. Since that time, I’d lived in France and Fort Lee (Petersburg), Richmond, and Woodbridge, Virginia.

Little brother is clearly thrilled with the Roy Rogers get-up, though I doubt he’d ever seen a western by that point in time. There are all kinds of goodies stacked up around Grandma and Grandpa’s living room. I’m sure they were practically apoplectic at the mess three kids could make of their super-tidy house.

The cowboy outfit was probably quickly outgrown, but the rifle…that stuck around a very long time. It was completely non-functional – not even a cap gun. But it did have a slide action and a trigger. It looked real and that was good enough for a lot of fun playing Cowboys and Indians or War Games.

Eilene, Philip and David Halse

One of my gifts you can see in this photo is called Gloppy. I don’t remember a thing about it, but it does sound like the sort of messy plaything a little kid would cherish. Even better is the Betty Crocker Baking Kit. I do recall having an Easy Bake Oven as a kid, baking the teensiest of cakes using nothing more than the heat generated by a standard incandescent light bulb.

Really, though, the best gifts I see lying on the floor and propped up against a chair are Zebco fishing rods. All three of us got one of those. It had the simplest of thumb-reels for casting (or not). Grandpa Smith took us all out to the large man-made pond in front of the Arkansas state capitol building to learn that most basic of outdoor sports…drowning worms.

Phil Halse, Little Rock, AR


19 thoughts on “The Slide Years: Cowboy Christmas

Add yours

  1. I love the Christmas photos. SO much more relate-able than PlayStation consoles and i-Pads under the tree.

    And this reminds me of the first time I took my kids fishing. My daughter sat in the back of the boat and proceeded to free the worms, LOL

    Liked by 3 people

Please share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

Joy Neal Kidney

Family and local stories and history, favorite books


A History of the Famously Interesting and Mostly Forgotten

Gerry's Family History

Sharing stories from my family history

Rhyme Schemes and Daydreams

Things That Interest Me

Women Writing the West

Writing about experiences of women and girls in the North American West.

Author J.v.L. Bell

Exploring the Past to Improve the Future

Climbing, Outdoors, Life!


Travels Galore


Strolling around SE Michigan & sending joy in the journey.

Tofino Photography

Professional Wildlife, Landscape and Seascape Photography

Notes from a Western Life

The Windbreak House Blog by Linda M. Hasselstrom

The Letters

Louise Mabey

Smart Canyon Genealogy

Viewing family trees from 8500 feet

Absurdist Fiction


The Chiddicks Family Tree

Every Family has a story to tell..........Welcome to mine

Crossed Eyes and Dotted Tees

Writing, Blogging and Books

One Woman's Quest II

Navigating life through grandparenthood, chronic illness, dream work, and other inspirations

One Woman's Quest

Passion for writing ignites my soul's momentum

Opening Doors in Brick Walls

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” ~ Alexander Graham Bell

%d bloggers like this: