What's your favorite Toledo Christmas memory?

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The Andersons bringing back the giant cheese wheel that was a highlight of the Christmas season at Tiedtke's spurs memories of other Toledo holiday traditions. Here are things I remember--how about you?

*My family would make a seasonal trip downtown to the Bassett Nut Company. The smell of freshly roasted peanuts and cashews was amazing!

*As a kid, our family Christmas Eve tradition was to have dinner at either Linck's Cafeteria or the 4-E Ranch House and then on to a movie at the Colony theater.

*We stood in line for what seemed like hours to enter Children's Wonderland at the Lucas County Recreation Center. It didn't matter that the displays were the same year-after-year--it was magical. You would cleverly end up in a refreshment area where I would always convince my parents to buy me a paintable wax sculpture of Santa Mickey Mouse (you watched as the machine molded the 3-dimensional statue--really cool)!

*Before there was the NORAD Santa Tracker app there was Gordon Ward. He would come on television on Christmas Eve and announce that there had been sightings of a sleigh flying over Toledo. That was enough motivation to get to bed!

*A trip to The Andersons store in Maumee (the original location that was across the street from the current one) to check-out the toy section was like going to Santa's workshop. The selection was limited by today's standards, but the combination of looking at toys while standing on a cement floor and smelling grain screamed "Christmas"!

Although we can't bring back 4-E or the Colony theater, one tradition we can easily resurrect is wishing total strangers "Merry Christmas!" We've been brainwashed into thinking that somehow we're violating people's rights by extending that wish, but I'm saying that to every store clerk I encounter this year. Merry Christmas!

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I remember several things that were Christmas staples for my family.

We'd have a big party with cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. at my aunt's house--and yes, I remember right before we left for the party seeing on television that a sleigh had been spotted in the sky. It made me worry that our schedule wasn't matching Santa's!

We would stuff as many of us as we could into our Country Squire station wagon and ride around town looking at Christmas lights.

Merry Christmas!

My Christmas memories of Toledo were familial and very pleasant.

Then Toledo's economy was destroyed, starting in the 1980s, and nobody wanted to admit it, and those who had anything honest to say about it, simply up and left anyway. It was a good recipe for the current and still unfolding disaster.

Memories are insufficient. Looking back is one of the worst things you can do right now. Like an associate of mine said in front of a large audience, you need to stop doing the same things and expecting a different result. Neighborhoods need to be rebuilt. Without those, we're fooling ourselves... our Christmases will start to run red, the wrong sort of red. Toledo's holidays will be filled with gunshots.

Typically, when we talk about rebuilding neighborhoods, we think about the physical aspect of tearing down abandoned houses and building new ones. But that means nothing if you have the same quality of people living in the neighborhoods.

If Toledo has any hope of turning around, it's got to quadruple the size of its police force and arrest and prosecute every thug who so much as jaywalks. You've got to make it unbearable for the gangs and the two-bit troublemakers to live in the city. Build more prisons and put away the thieves, rapists, and drug dealers.

New houses with the same losers living in them isn't the answer.

security changes?
Police cost money. Jails cost money. Jailing people for "jaywalks" costs money. Would we need to hire more prosecutors, judges, bailiffs, court recorders, etc., etc.? That all costs money. And how about fighting the lawsuits for discrimination in the enforcement of these strict laws, and/or for illegal imprisonment?
Simplistic answers for complex human problems almost always sound good. They're nearly always impractical, and, in many cases, nonsensical.

I'll take a crack at answering this question.

You privatize everything you can privatize--street repairs, snow and leaf removal, payroll services for the remaining City employees--that would save you from having to pay into the extremely costly State retirement systems and from paying for health care, worker's compensation, and all of the other employment costs.

Keeping in mind that human resources constitute a large part of the City's budget, this suggestion alone would probably provide more than enough money to have the best trained, equipped, and staffed police departments, enough judges and lawyers to try every case in a timely manner; and prison cells for all!

Forbid Council from donating taxpayers' funds to charities (e.g. the African American Museum), stop buying property/buildings, and don't open the pools.

Give me the City's budget and a red pen and we'd have more money then we would know what to do with. I'm not interested in getting elected.

You give no dollar amounts. You assume that private companies will be able to do the work at a much lower cost, but you provide no figures. If these private companies pay so little, and pay no benefits nor any retirement above Social Security. you are also assuming that in a growing, (albeit slowly growing), economy, these private companies will be able to hire people at such low payroll costs that the city will save millions. Prove it!

When Reagan was elected POTUS with the same kinds of meat cleaver statements about the federal budget, and had a working majority in both Houses of Congress, he spent more than any other POTUS until that time, and tripled the federal debt in his 8 years as POTUS! Talk is cheap. Jails are expensive to run. Enhanced police protection is expensive, too.

I think about how things have changed. I remember the 1950's and 1960's Christmas Parade in Downtown Toledo. The last float carried Santa Clause who threw candy canes to children lining the parade route. I had to be careful where I stood when Santa came through. If I stood too close to Black or Hispanic kids Santa wouldn't throw any candy. Thank goodness things have changed.

Yep--Santa has always been a racist. That S.O.B.

Santa has never been a racist, but many people who wear Santa Suits are.

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