Hammond, Indiana’s brochure,
which includes a map and the comment below from yours truly:
“Jean Shepherd talked and wrote a lot about Hammond. He might sometimes disparage the place, but in his heart and mind the tribulations and joys of his childhood were inseparable from his hometown. Though he might attempt to disguise some connections, he kept letting them sneak in. Two examples. The town he wrote about called “Hohman” he named after the street of that name in Hammond. In the movie A Christmas Story Shepherd’s fictional character, Ralphie, wants a BB gun as he also did in the earlier published version originally titled “Duel in the Snow or Red Ryder Nails the Cleveland Street Kid,” and we know that Jean Shepherd grew up on Hammond’s Cleveland Street. In some undeniable, enigmatic way, Jean Shepherd was the Cleveland Street Kid. He never got Hammond out of his creative world or out of his blood.”
Hammond, Indiana and Cleveland, Ohio’s A CHRISTMAS STORY HOUSE
do lots of good, fun things regarding the movie.
Hammond commemorated this 2013 permanent statue,
with Scott Schwartz, who played the original “Flick,” looking on:
(Speak up, Flick, whatsa matter, pole got yer tongue?)
A CHRISTMAS STORY behind-the-scenes book is good.
A CHRISTMAS STORY the musical is good.
(I have not seen the straight play based on the movie,
based on Shep’s stories published in books,
reprinted from the stories in Playboy,
based on Shepherd’s improvised stories told on the radio,
so I won’t comment on it.)
However, the playwright Philip Grecian says that Shep
insisted that the narrator (Shepherd’s narrative part) be included.
The scene shows “Shep” narrating soap-in-mouth scene from
Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg, Canada.
A CHRISTMAS STORY the movie is so good
it cannot be smothered to death by the glut of ever-proliferating
There are photos from the film on Christmas tree balls and T-shirts,
innumerable little 3-D depictions of scenes from the movie,
Talking action figures and bobble heads of the cast,
cookie cutters, etc.
Right before Christmas, when I opened up Tetris to give a rest to my Shep obsession,
here’s what I got on-screen:
Above, the original inspiration
upon which Shepherd undoubtedly
based his leg lamp.
NEHI =”Knee-high.” (Get it?)
YES! I love it!
A few lesser hangers
Above, a mug, and a stocking to be hung by the chimney with care,
and a couple o’ da udder thingmajigs.
A large, blow-up-to-put-on-your-lawn leg-thing
seems no longer available–boo hoo!
But see a photo of the 6-foot high hyperbolic inflatable
lawn ornament below. Maybe the ultimate
“slob art” interpretation of “the old man’s”
major slob art award.
Some of the spin-offs are cute and fine, many are not–
there are hundreds to choose from!
In our house we display a desk-size leg lamp all year around.
There are a number of Christmas cards using ACS material,
including the one I got a while back.
Somebody posted the following a couple of years ago, made with
those little yellow, marshmallow candies called “Peeps.”
“IT’S A MAJOR PEEP AWARD”
Below, our star and benefactor, who must be chuckling
endlessly, up there at the North Pole.
in TV’s “A Bozo Christmas,” 12/14/1991.
It would be interesting to know
why Shep chose to do this.
(courtesy of Jim Clavin)
This is the last of this series on A CHRISTMAS STORY.
Look for special New Years Eve post on 12/31.