TRAVELER
Chapter 223

by CARL DICKSON

Our hope is that every homosexual youth in this country can find a home and someone to love them as they are.
No one deserves to be discriminated against, no matter what their differences from society's norm
.

A tidy quote from chapter 137
"titles belong on books, not people" ©Carl Dickson—2007

Does your mother know you're reading this shit?

Warning: This story is PORNO. I have tried my hand at friction, now I'm trying fiction. This story contains vivid descriptions of sexual activity between men and teen boys.
It contains no truth, partial truth, or half truth. What it does contain is stroking material. If this kind of story turns you off, or offends you, please find something else.
The author does not encourage or condone sex between adults and underage children.

If you are underage, or if this is illegal where you are, then please go away. If you're under 18, Adios come back when it is legal for you to read this smut.
If you lied about your age in order to access this story, remember this is our story. Life doesn't always work out like a story.

A strongly worded suggestion has resulted in this statement.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either
are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitioiusly,
and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business
establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Thus said, this story is copyrighted, ©2005-2012. It is therefore illegal to copy or use any part of this story on any other web site without my written permission.


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    I continued to patrol the four buildings, Arty stayed at my side. I knew that there was something that the boy wanted, but I waited for him to tell me without being asked. Boys are a funny breed of animal, sometimes I wonder how the species has survived. A boy by his very nature is inquisitive, he wants to explore and discover. He is cautious, yet he can be tenacious. Once he has his mind set on a goal he will walk on fire and brimstone to achieve that goal, no matter what it is. That trait has filled many a prison cell with men that sought the wrong goal.
    When I located Arty in distress I was on the second floor of my second building. I had to walk through the third floor then move through two more buildings before I would find a bed for myself for the evening. Cory was holed up with RD. RD is having a bout of cold feet. He knows that he loves Quemela and he wants to marry her very badly. With more than six months to go before their wedding he should not be in the condition that he is. Personally I believe that he is simply suffering from a case of blue balls. Cory will work that ECB out of him.
    The kids wanted to get married during the Christmas holidays. I had two arguments for them. One; Quemela would not graduate from high school until late May. Her class work would suffer and her social life with her friends would be limited. That made sense to the young couple. Second; I reminded them that I had seventeen hundred visiting visiting boys to oversee during the Christmas season so my time would be limited in helping them with their arrangements. RD looked at Quemela and told her that he really didn't want to miss out on the fun with the visitors. He got his arm smacked for that one.
    I pulled RD and Cory in for a little private family talk and promised them that we would share Christmas morning and dinner with our wives and babies. That brought smiles to their faces. We did not tell Roddy, that little stinker can't keep his mouth shut. Of course he would be with his mother and brothers to see what Santa brought him, but he couldn't know it until time to board Travel Hop© for the flight home on the Sacred morning.
    Arty and I stumbled across Cory and RD during our walk through of the last building. We stood and watched the couple nursing each other in their sleep. Arty wrapped his arm around my waist and rested his head on my right shoulder. He was as hard as a pile driver. Silently we slipped on. There were no more couples on the second floor of that building so we moved up to the third and final floor. It was deserted.
    Each cubicle was set up with all of the furniture, including a queen sized bed. Clean bedding was neatly stacked inside each locker to keep the dust from it. I had seen Arty's eye inspecting me several times during our walk so I made the first move. I sat down on the edge of a bed in the far back corner of the dormitory bay. All of the lights were off with the exception of the personal lights in that one bay. I bounced on the bed a few times then lay back and stretched my feet out. "These beds are quite comfortable." Arty's gaze was locked on my flag pole standing up as it awaited his salute.
    "Arty, you have a voice. You have something on your mind and I wish that you would voice your desires."
    "I—I want you. I want to spend time with you all alone like you spent with Karl in St. Louis. You and I have never been all by ourselves and I want you so bad that it makes my throat tight and my chest pound. I want you to fuck my ass for an hour. I will suck you until you are ready to go again then I want another hour of your love."
    Well spoken. He found his voice. I rose from the bed and opened the locker. I removed the sheets and began to spread them onto the bed. Arty rushed to the other side to help me. I placed the pillows on the bed and then spread the two blankets out. It might get chilly before morning. I pulled the sheets back and motioned for Arty to get into the bed. He moved against me. It was the perfect opening so I took it. I pulled him in for a ground moving kiss that had both of us ready for an hour or two of hot man sex.

    I awakened to Cory poking a lot of fun at me. RD had his own poker pressing against Arty from the other side. I asked Cory how he had found us. He giggled and pointed to Arty, "He's a howler. Half of the boys in the building are standing in the stairwells laughing their little hearts out." Arty blushed.

    Our inspection tour went well. I was especially pleased with the final rush job that had to be done. When I had received the final tally of all of the boys enrolled in all six of the schools I realized that there was not enough bed space. A fourth level was needed for the first two buildings west of the classroom building. That would add two hundred cubicles which would mean bed space for four hundred more boys.
    The prestressed concrete construction of the outer walls of the buildings made the removal of the roof relatively simple. Steel framework was bolted and riveted into place. Plumbing and sewer lines were set then the three inch thick concrete floor was poured. While that cured the wiring was roughed in from above. More prestressed panels quickly covered the outside and then the inside was finished and ready to go in less than three weeks.
    All of the horses checked out okay, but the boys insisted that they each one ride a different animal each time that we went out, which turned out to be three times each day. Nolan led the boys up the ridge of Fire Mountain and on to the high camp for an afternoon of swimming in the clear waters there. The weather was remarkably warm and comfortable. I was pleased, I did not want to be nursing four hundred sick boys when our guests arrived.

    The boys began to arrive on December fourteenth. I had to ask Andy for a plane from Base B for JB to bring his brood out. We had to unload the old fŗĩęñďş Çłųß plane of its emergency equipment and rations to bring in the boys from Greece. The boys from Germany took a train to Paris where they joined with the students from BAP for their flight over. One of Andy's 747 jumbo jets delivered them safe and sound.
    The students from BAB were the next to arrive in the morning of the fifteenth aboard Travel Aire©. Travel Aire Too© delivered the last of our guests from BAF around lunch time.
    Lunch was an old fashioned chuck wagon meal served outside. Four large cast iron kettles held boiling beans over the fires. Four ounce top sirloin steak was prepared to each boys' preference. A large cup of campfire coffee served as the belly washer to a large bowl of hot apple cobbler ala Çhé Ģerâld. Boys were laying out on the grass rubbing their distended bellies and asking what was for supper, I only sat back and laughed. It felt good being with all of the boys. I sincerely miss being with all of them constantly.

    Bedtime was pandemonium. The boys wanted to find their friends and spend the night with them. I had to put my foot down. "This is your first night here and the travel time has not caught up with you yet. I want everyone to sleep in the dormitory with the other students from your school. Your staff will be doing bed checks all night long to see to it that you are in your bed. Any violation will have you on the plane for a return to your school and you will miss out on the best vacation of your life.
    "Tomorrow you will be more alert and able to move about. I want you to find your friends and renew your friendship. I only ask that you let the staff of your school know where you are and where you will be sleeping. I don't want to spend half of this holiday searching for a lost boy who is getting his jollies with a old friend." They all agreed and headed off to a hot shower and bed.
    I headed to a bed in the solitude of the house. Beans and boys are a lethal combination that I wanted no part of. I remember phartzalot, one and two. My nose sits on my face quite nicely, it does not need to be curled.

    An entire chicken farm was needed to provide the eggs for breakfast. The European boys have shown a love of pancakes, twelve cooks had six, six foot wide by three foot deep grills covered in the rising batter. An entire Maple forest gave up its sap for the syrup. Peru sent a shipload of coffee for the boys which brewed in all ten of the one hundred cup brewers in the common kitchen. Three diary herds are nothing but skin and bones after every drop of milk was squeezed from them. Fifty milk maids wore their hands to nubs churning butter for the pancakes.
    I had to bring in oranges from Mexico as well as grapefruit. Those items are almost in season in Arizona, but the entire crop was earmarked for export only. What happened to buy locally? A few independent orchards offered me a few dozen bushels of fruit, but I needed a few dozen truck loads of the sweet citrus. I sat back and wondered if I could get another convoy of trucks laden with more food in before lunch time.

    The first order of business for the boys was to ride a real cowboy pony. Boys from fourteen to twenty took to the animals with a lust that made me fear for the animal's safety. I asked Nolan to keep the boys down on the desert floor until we could see how accomplished they were with their equestrian skills. Cory, Roddy, and I slipped on our leather riding pants that Roddy made us for our wedding gift. We also donned our dear skin leather boot style moccasins with the extra thick soles. We each rode our favorite horses bareback as we moved through the mass of boys and horses trying to help many of them stay in the saddle.
    After an hour we found that only a few boys made the grade. Nolan had his work cut out for him giving the boys riding lessons for the first six days. He loved it. He loves boys and he showed it. His long time boyfriend, Tristan, was a huge help to him as were the Indian boys that had been with Mavis.
If you missed it Tristan was introduced in Andy Finds Daddy chapter fourteen.

    On the afternoon of the fourth day Nolan staged an old fashioned rodeo for our visitors. I had invited the village to come over to join the fun. They brought food by the truck full. They also brought six calves for the riders to show their roping skills. The boys were very excited to see the roping and riding skills of the Indian boys. Roddy has to show off every time that he can. This time I was impressed with the little Indian scout. Yeah, I called him a scout. He is a brave, a very grown up Indian brave, but he showed us skills that no one ever suspected that he had.
    He took two short pieces of rope and held them between his teeth as he bent forward and moved about on his hands and feet. His cute little naked ass was turned toward the sun for a full moon. Roddy's skin color is darker than the other boys, his Indian blood maybe? But he is of a lighter complexion than others in the tribe. I contribute that to the years of our women being raped and abused by the white man. Okay, so I am pale and blond, I am considered a white man. But after many hours of reading of the plight of the American Indians and what they endured at the hands of the white invaders I have become ashamed of my father's blood inside of me. I almost feel as Jace feels about the blood of his father in him. It is something that neither of us has any control over.
    Roddy locked his eyes on the most skiddish of the calves and walked directly up to it. He grabbed it around the head and wrestled it to the ground then tied its front leg to its back leg in record time. The boys were on their feet stamping and cheering. Nolan told me that he had never seen such an act and he has been to hundreds of rodeos over the course of his life.
    When the day was finished the calves were taken out and slaughtered and split length wise into two parts. The carcass halves were then spit over open fires. By around ten the boys were able to take a real Bowie Knife and slice themselves a piece of hot cow meat tp eat with a bowl of beans and a large piece of western style cornbread, with lots of butter. Next I had to plan something for the following day.

    Before the rodeo started Roddy had insisted that Cory and I wear our soft deer hide pants that he had made for us for our honeymoon. No, these weren't dude pants with fringes on them, just good, solid leather breeches with triple thickness in the rump area to protect the back hide of the wearer from chaffing after a few hours of riding a horse bareback. We each had a pair of deer hide boot like moccasins with thick soles that he had made for us as well. Dane wanted to show off his squirrel skin moccasins to the boys, but Roddy was not out for us to show off, he was on a mission. Cory and I sat cross legged as we watched the boy go to work. He had twelve of the women from the village listening very intently to him.
    Roddy wanted the hides from the six calves. He didn't ask for much, he only asked the women to help him tan the hides. They chittered amongst themselves until Roddy stood up into the stance of a warrior and let his voice reflect more of a man than stood before them. He made it clear to one and all near that he wanted them to help him tan the hides.
    He asked them if they could provide a few hundred pounds of moderately fresh dog shit. He told them that he would collect the horse urine and mix the brine himself. That convinced them that this was no boy speaking to them. but a true Indian brave. They spoke to the others that had come over for the rodeo and dinner and told them that this boy was willing to do women's labor to get what he wanted. They agreed to help him.

    Roddy had been at the stables for most of the afternoon. I had seen him recruiting boys to help him drag large sheets of used plywood into the stables. Cory and I left him alone, he was not bothering anyone. He gathered the cow hides from where they had been tossed aside after the calves had been slaughtered. He enlisted Nolan's help to load the hides onto a utility trailer to haul them to the stables. Now I had to check him out.
    The little man is pure man. He has a work ethic that knows no limitations except for his size and weight. He manhandled the stinky hides into three large vats of water and began to stir them with a flat pole, almost like an oar. When he was satisfied that the hides were completely immersed under water he washed himself and turned to me. "Daddy, you don't want to be in here for the next few days. It is going to stink in here. I am going to stink. I won't sleep in the dormitory until I finish this job, it is just too hard to clean myself up."
    I guess the concern showed on my face. My young son came to me and sat in my lap and drew Cory up close to us. "Daddy, I have grown up with this stuff. I tanned the deer hides for the pants and boots that you are wearing. I know what I am doing, really I do." I wanted to know, he was happy to tell me. Cory smiled, he knew what was coming, he spent enough time with the tribe that he learned many of the ways. He watched Sagi and her mother tan the hides for Sagi's wedding dress and his wedding shirt. The women had also tanned hide for the shirts that Steven, Mike, and I wore.
    "See those old decorations that you had Nolan hang around in here? They are really tanning knives, daddy. They are wide, flat bladed, dull knifes that are used to scrape all of the meat and fat off of the hide. The knives are also used to thin the hide out where it is thick so that is an even thickness all over. If the hair is not wanted then the hide is turned over and a solution of wood ash from the fire out there is mixed with those bottle of horse urine and the knives are used to shave the hair off. It stinks, daddy, but in the end I will have six beautiful hides to work with."
    "Roddy, why do you need dog poop?"
    "That is the really disgusting part of the job. I have to make a paste of the dog dung then push the hides down into it and stir it and keep that up until the hides become really soft and flexible. Then the hides get rinsed off and left out to dry while the vats are cleaned of the dung.
    "Next I will mix oak bark into warm water until it turns a dark reddish brown. That is the tannin being taken out of the bark. I will put the hides into that water and let them soak for two days then lay them flat in the direct sunlight and let them dry for another day. When that is done then I will have enough leather to make boots and moccasins for about six hundred boys."
    "What about the rest of the boys?"
    "I can't please everybody, daddy. It is a first come, first serve type of business."
    "Is it a business? How much are you charging for your work?"
    "Five dollars a pair for the moccasins and ten dollars for the boots, fifteen with the thick soles." That seemed reasonable enough. I would like to have enough material for all of the European boys to take home a pair of his handmade footwear. I would even pay him to make them.

    Beans and boys are a lethal combination. I chose to sleep in air conditioned comfort in the house. I did a cursory walk through to check with the staff members of each school. All of the boys were accounted for, at least we had made it through the first few days without losing anyone. I walked to the stables before heading to the house. I found Roddy curled up on a horse blanket on a pile of clean straw, he was sound asleep. Boys can sleep almost anywhere.
    I gently picked him up and carried him to the house. We were almost there when he awakened, "Daddy, I stink. I am going to get you all stinky too."
    "You smell worse than the dog poop that you were working with all day." I pulled him tighter against me.
    "Daddy, you got yourself all stinky now."
    "Yeah, so now we get to wash each other. I am sure that I will have to wash you for at least ten minutes, twice. I know that we can get that smell off of both of us." He giggled as he wrapped his arms around my neck.
    "You really do love me don't you?"
    "Rod, I love you so much that it hurts inside when I think of you. It is a good hurt, it is the sort of hurt that makes me proud. I am proud of you and I do love you."
    "I get that same hurt when I think about you. I love you so much that I don't never wanta grow up."
    "I know what you mean. I want you to be my little boy forever, but I want you to grow into a man and have a family of your own so that I can have grandsons to spoil."
    "I wanta be a man, can I be a man and still be your little boy?"
    "Always and forever." I stood him in the newly remodeled shower in what had once been the bedroom that Mavis had shared with her Willie. Circulation pumps keep the water hot and ready on demand. Roddy turned the faucet handle and stepped back under the hot spray. I took a large dollop of my pine scented shampoo and worked it into Roddy's thick black hair. He leaned back against me, "That feels so good, don't never stop."
    I raised his arm and lathered up his pits, stopping to do a little bit of tickling along the way. I worked the bar of soap down his back and into his crack as I made sure that every nook and cranny was throughly soaped for the first time around. The second washing would be to freshen his body, the first round was to get all traces of the residue washed away.
    He turned to face me and nearly knocked me over with his hefty four inch man stick. I had to make sure that there was nothing lurking under his ample foreskin so I pulled it back and forth several times while I had lots of soap on my hands. He reached out to hold onto me as he went through two dry runs. He is almost ready to do his first squirt. For the time being I will make him as happy as a boy his age can be.
    He wanted to make sure that I didn't have any of his smell still clinging to me as he worked the soap over my body. I got to my knees before him and lowered my head so that he would work the shampoo into the roots of my hair. He did a number on my back and shoulders that, had I not been on my knees, would have brought me to my knees.
    We used the handheld shower hose to rinse off all of those tight places between the legs and up the dark crack behind then he did a taste test. He told me that he wanted to be sure that he got everything. He almost got the cat's cream before I stopped him.
    I drew an oversize fluffy towel from the shelf by the shower and wrapped him up against the cold. That is a little game that we often play at home. I carried him to my bed and carefully placed him on the soft sheets. His eyes opened as his face widened into a smile. "Love me, daddy."
    "I do, son."
    "Make love to me, daddy."
    "Fathers don't do that with their sons."
    "Daddy, you listen to me, again. I have told you this before you know. I love doing it. I was doing it before I even met you and I wasn't no more than nine. I can't see how it will hurt me to be loved by the one person in the world that I love above all others, just once in awhile."
    His reasoning was logical, my resolve was weak.

    On the fifth day of Roddy's efforts I visited with two of the old women that were helping him. He had showed them his handiwork and they were impressed. I asked them about acquiring more hides. They giggled and pointed to the back of their truck where a large bundle lay in the bed covered with an old tarpaulin. The back of the heavy duty truck was sagging from the weight of its load. The women had brought the boy twenty hides already tanned. They asked me if I thought that Roddy would allow them to help by cutting out the leather parts. They would not attempt to steal his thunder by sewing the shoes for him, but they wanted to help. I was proud of my son, he was drawing everyone together in his own way.

    At seven thirty on Sunday morning the twentieth the boys thought that the sky was falling. Many of the boys have lived through the fighting in Europe as communist block nations vie for their independence, Those boys were the most terrified when the sound of a low flying airplane approached the ranch then fired its afterburners for a steep climb up. I was outside in time to see FI-2 circle about and come in for a perfect landing. I was ready to mount a perfect head on a post at the main gate as I held frightened boys to my side.
    Cory drove up in my Caddy. I jumped in beside him and let him drive over to the airfield. The steps were coming down and Cullen dashed off of the plane to run toward my vehicle. My anger sorta dissipated. Jimmy charged down the steps to join his boyfriend. My Christmas season just got better.
    Cory stopped near the plane. I stepped out to greet the two boys when Kostja and Wayne disembarked. Shortly afterwards Pete and Mike deplaned. I looked at Pete. He looked at Cullen. I shook my head no. He looked around then looked down.
    "How did you like my entrance, uncy?"
    "I didn't like it at all, your hinney. There are five hundred frightened boys over there that have lived through the air wars in Europe's recent past. They are so scared that had they pants on they would have had to change them. As it is mop up duty is in order."
    "I never thought—"
    "You are a king, it is your responsibility to think. You will go to those boys and apologize to them. You will not make light of it. You will show them that you are a man of honor and humbly apologize to them.
    "As for you, Pete. You are a pilot, a very high paid licensed pilot. You know better than to pull a stunt like that. King or no king, you put his life, as well as the lives of everyone onboard, in jeopardy with your showboating. I am disappointed in both of you.
    "Hello, Jimmy. Kostja, Wayne, I am glad to see you. I hope that you can stay for the entire holiday season."
    "Those are our plans, sir."
    "Sir me again, Kostja. I will straighten your ass out in an instant."
    "Yes sir, sir. Thank you, sir. I will remember that, sir." He broke the tension and we all began to laugh.
    I pulled Pete to me and held him tight. I don't like to dress a man down. Especially when that man means as much to me as Pete does. I will always have very fond memories of that drunk that I met on the beach in Alabama. I will always have extra fond memories of our many months together as lovers.
    I looked over his shoulder at a sullen Cullen. I turned to him, "Welcome to Arizona, Your Highness. I still love you too." He jumped on me and wrapped his legs around my hips. His kisses are still sweet, like a young boy. I really hope that he is one that never grows up around me. He must grow up for his public, but not for me.

    I drove back to the large classroom building where most of the boys stood outside waiting for my return. I turned so that Cullen could step out to face the boys. Cheers went up then somebody nudged somebody and everybody nudged each other then they all bowed. Cullen took a page from the Chinese, he applauded the boys. He held up his hands and waited for silence.
    "I have made a grave error this morning and for that I wish to apologize and beg the forgiveness of many of you that were frightened by my actions." He talked to the boys for ten minutes, just like a politician. Afterwards he circulated amongst the boys shaking hands and hugging old friends.
    At last I took his arm and escorted him into breakfast, I needed a cup of coffee.

    I felt bad, and Cullen pointed out to me that I should feel real bad. I reached for him. He giggled as he pulled away and told me that he was good and I didn't need to feel good. I needed to find out all that I could, and quickly if we were going to save the Christmas holidays for fourteen hundred and sixty visiting boys.
    I have only spent Christmas in England with Cullen and El. In 2008 we took the entire student body of all six schools to BAB. I never thought to walk through the individual dormitories to visit. Had I done so maybe my thick skull would have absorbed some of the various traditions from the other cultures represented at that gathering. It took a sweet little King to show this commoner the error of his ways.

    Cullen did show me. I grabbed Cory's hand and dragged him along, I had a feeling that I was going to need his strength for support.
    Cory had determined that we needed to identify the buildings with a letter or a number. Using the classroom building as our base he called it building `C`. Facing the west from that building there are two buildings that face each other and run perpendicular to building `C` lengthwise. To the west of those two buildings are two other buildings. The two buildings on the south were lettered `D' and `E', while the two buildings to the north of the grouping were lettered `B' and `A'.
    We ended up with the general purpose building which houses the cafeteria being called simply the cafeteria. Then going out to the north and going around the circle was building `A',`B', `Classroom', `D' and `E', ending back at the cafeteria.
    Occupying the east end of the fourth floor of building D are our friends, the students of BAD and their staff. There are rooms for twenty staff members and one hundred cubicles for the boys. The entire one hundred and eighty boys had room to spare.
    The smells that met my nose as we entered that building excited my taste buds, but more so when we reached the German end of the dormitory. All about the room were breads and pastries. I thought that the food should be in the cafeteria, Cullen touched my arm and shared a story with me.

Christmas Traditions in Germany

    German families prepare for Christmas throughout cold December. Four Sundays before Christmas, they make an Advent wreath of fir or pine branches with four colored candles. They light a candle on the wreath each Sunday, sing Christmas songs, and eat Christmas cookies. The children count the days until Christmas with an Advent calendar. Each day, they open a little numbered flap on the calendar to see the Christmas picture hidden there.
    In the weeks leading up to Christmas, homes are filled with the delightful smells of baking loaves of sweet bread, cakes filled with candied fruits, and spicy cookies called lebkuchen.
    Bakery windows are filled with displays of lovely marzipan confections in the shape of fruits and animals. Best of all are the famous outdoor Christmas markets. The stalls overflow with all sorts of holiday toys, gifts, decorations, and delicacies.
    Many German children write letters to St. Nicholas asking for presents. St. Nicholas Day is December 6. Other German children write their letters to the Christ Child. In some areas, the Christ Child brings gifts to children on St. Nicholas Eve and in other areas on Christmas Eve. He is dressed all in white, with golden wings and a golden crown.

    Christmas Eve is the most important time of the Christmas season for families. Some even say it is a magical night when animals can speak. The wonderful tradition of the Christmas tree, which started in Germany, is the heart of the celebration. Grown-ups decorate the evergreen tree with beautiful ornaments of colored glass and carved wood, silver stars, and strings of lights. A golden angel is placed at the very top of the tree.
    Under the Christmas tree, the family arranges a manger scene to depict the stable that Jesus was born in. Parents may also pile presents from the Christ Child beneath the Christmas tree's richly decorated boughs. Just after dark, a bell rings, and the excited children run into the room to see the beautiful lighted tree in all its glory. The family members exchange gifts, recite poems, and sing Christmas carols. "Silent Night, Holy Night" is an old German favorite. Then everyone enjoys a Christmas feast of roast goose, turkey, or duck.
    In some parts of Germany, families still follow an old tradition. The children leave their shoes outside the front door. These shoes are filled with carrots and hay to feed St. Nicholas' horse as he rides by. If the children were good all year, St. Nicholas leaves apples, nuts, and candy for them.
    On Christmas Day the white candle of the Advent wreath is lit. This day is quietly focused on family. They attend church together, and then they eat a delicious Christmas dinner together.
    But for the following Twelve Days of Christmas, people in some parts of Germany beat drums to drive off spirits. On Twelfth Night, or Epiphany, on January 6, boys dress up like the Three Kings who visited Baby Jesus in the manger so long ago. They carry a star on a pole and go through the town singing Christmas carols. Then the family puts away its Christmas decorations for another year, until December comes around again.

    An iPod was connected to a small speaker system, it continuously played 'Silent Night' in Deutch. I stepped over closer to listen to the beautiful song. "Did you know that Silent Night is an old German Christmas hymn written in 1818?" I pulled Günther to my side and hugged him.
    "No, I did not know that." He told me the story.

'The Story of Silent Night'

    Father Joseph Mohr sat at the old organ. His fingers stretched over the keys, forming the notes of a chord. He took a deep breath and pressed down. Nothing. He lifted his fingers and tried again. Silence echoed through the church.
    Father Joseph shook his head. It was no use. The pipes were rusted, the bellows mildewed. The organ had been wheezing and growing quieter for months, and Father Joseph had been hoping it would hold together until the organ builder arrived to repair it in the spring. But now, on December 23, 1818, the organ had finally given out. St. Nicholas Church would have no music for Christmas.
    Father Joseph sighed. Maybe a brisk walk would make him feel better. He pulled on his overcoat and stepped out into the night. His white breath puffed out before him. Moonlight sparkled off the snow-crusted trees and houses in the village of Oberndorf. Father Joseph crunched through the snowy streets to the edge of the little Austrian town and climbed the path leading up the mountain.
    From high above Oberndorf, Father Joseph watched the Salzach River ripple past St. Nicholas Church. In the spring, when melting snow flowed down the mountains and the river swelled in its banks, water lapped at the foundation of the church. It was moisture from the flooding river that had caused the organ to mildew and rust.
    Father Joseph looked out over the Austrian Alps. Stars shone above in the still and silent night.
    Silent night? Father Joseph stopped. Of course! "Silent Night!" He had written a poem a few years before, when he had first become a priest, and he had given it that very title. "Silent Night."
    Father Joseph scrambled down the mountain. Suddenly he knew how to bring music to the church.
    The next morning, Father Joseph set out on another walk. This time he carried his poem. And this time he knew exactly where he was going … to see his friend Franz Gruber, the organist for St. Nicholas, who lived in the next village.
    Franz Gruber was surprised to see the priest so far from home on Christmas Eve, and even more surprised when Father Joseph handed him the poem.
    That night Father Joseph and Franz Gruber stood at the altar of St. Nicholas Church. Father Joseph held his guitar. He could see members of the congregation giving each other puzzled looks. They had never heard a guitar played in church before, and certainly not during midnight mass on Christmas Eve, the holiest night of the year.
    Father Joseph picked out a few notes on the guitar, and he and Franz Gruber began to sing. Their two voices rang out, joined by the church choir on the chorus. Franz Gruber's melody matched the simplicity and honesty of Father Joseph's words.
    When the last notes faded into the night, the congregation remained still for a moment, then began to clap their hands. Applause filled the church. The villagers of Oberndorf loved the song! Father Joseph's plan to bring music to St. Nicholas Church had worked.
    A few months later, the organ builder arrived in Oberndorf and found the words and music to "Silent Night" lying on the organ. The song enchanted him, and when he left, he took a copy of it with him.
    The organ builder gave the song to two families of traveling singers who lived near his home. The traveling singers performed "Silent Night" in concerts all over Europe, and soon the song spread throughout the world.
    Today, cathedral choirs and carolers from New York to New Zealand sing the simple song that was first played in a mountain church in Austria on Christmas Eve nearly 200 years ago. … By Dick Smolinski

    While Günther told the story I had spotted a decorated basket filled with letter addressed to me. I picked one of the letter up to look at it. "Our tradition is for the children to write letter to St. Nicholas, or to the Christ Child asking for small gifts. These boys do not believe in St. Nicholas and they do not believe that Christ is any longer a child. They each wanted to write to you seeking personal gifts."
    "When were these letters to be delivered to me?"
    "We never planned to deliver them, sir."
    "So if a boy does not get his secret wish he can blame me? I want to read each letter and I will do everything that I can to fulfill each boys' wish." Günther and Lukas were selected to take the contents of the basket over to the house. I asked that the basket remain until Christmas eve in the event that a boy might decide to write to baby Jesus. The staff members had tears in their eyes as they honored my wishes.

    The third floor of building D was next on our tour. That floor housed the one hundred and twenty visitors from BAE at Parga, Greece. I led my entourage through the area and was met by more unique sights, smells and sounds. We were quickly surrounded by boys that wanted to share pieces of candy and dried fruit. With fifty boys gathered about us Cullen told us the story of some of the Greek Christmas traditions.

Greece - Christmas traditions & customs

    St. Nicholas is important in Greece as the patron saint of sailors. According to Greek tradition, his clothes are drenched with brine, his beard drips with seawater, and his face is covered with perspiration because he has been working hard against the waves to reach sinking ships and rescue them from the angry sea.
    To members of the Eastern Orthodox Church, as are most Greek Christians, Christmas ranks second to Easter in the roster of important holidays. Yet there are a number of unique customs associated with Christmas that are uniquely Greek.
    On Christmas Eve, village children travel from house to house offering good wishes and singing kalanda, the equivalent of carols. Often the songs are accompanied by small metal triangles and little clay drums. The children are frequently rewarded with sweets and dried fruits. After 40 days of fasting, the Christmas feast is looked forward to with great anticipation by adults and children alike. Pigs are slaughtered and on almost every table are loaves of christopsomo ("Christ Bread"). This bread is made in large sweet loaves of various shapes and the crusts are engraved and decorated in some way that reflects the family's profession.
    Christmas trees are not commonly used in Greece. In almost every home the main symbol of the season is a shallow wooden bowl with a piece of wire is suspended across the rim; from that hangs a sprig of basil wrapped around a wooden cross. A small amount of water is kept in the bowl to keep the basil alive and fresh. Once a day, a family member, usually the mother, dips the cross and basil into some holy water and uses it to sprinkle water in each room of the house. This ritual is believed to keep the Killantzaroi away from the house.
    There are a number of beliefs connected with the Killantzaroi, which are a species of goblins or sprites who appear only during the 12-day period from Christmas to the Epiphany (January 6). These creatures are believed to emerge from the center of the earth and to slip into people's house through the chimney. More mischievous than actually evil, the Killantzaroi do things like extinguish fires, ride astride people's backs, braid horses' tails, and sour the milk. To further repel the undesirable sprites, the hearth is kept burning day and night throughout the twelve days.
    Gifts are exchanged on St. Basil's Day (January 1). On this day the "renewal of waters" also takes place, a ritual in which all water jugs in the house are emptied and refilled with new "St. Basil's Water." The ceremony is often accompanied by offerings to the naiads, spirits of springs and fountains.

    I asked about letters. Some children do write to St. Basil, but these boys have suffered so greatly in the Bosnian war and through their sexual enslavement that they have given up most of their hope. I asked again for letters to be written at once and delivered to me so that I could take action on them. I received hugs from three of the staff members present.

    The second and final floor of building D was the temporary home of two hundred boys from BAB at Brighton, England. I asked Cullen to tell us the story of Christmas in England as many of the boys gathered around to sit with us and listen. Tomos and Eowyn sat to either side of me.

Christmas Traditions in England

    Christmas in England began in AD 596, when St Augustine landed on her shores with monks who wanted to bring Christianity to the Anglo Saxons. It is cold, wet, and foggy in England at Christmastime. Families welcome the warmth and cheer of a Yule log blazing on the hearth. They decorate their homes with holly, ivy, and other evergreens and hang a mistletoe "kissing bough."
    Throughout the holidays, carolers go from house to house at twilight ringing handbells and singing Christmas songs. "The Holly and the Ivy" and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" are English favorites. People give the carolers treats, such as little pies filled with nuts and dried fruits.
    The day before Christmas is very busy for families in England. They wrap presents, bake cookies, and hang stockings over the fireplace. Then everyone gathers around the tree as someone tells the favorite story, "A Christmas Carol."
    After hearing their favorite Christmas story, children write a letter to Father Christmas with their wishes. They toss their letter into the fire so their wishes can go up the chimney. After the children fall asleep on Christmas Eve, Father Christmas comes to visit. He wears a long, red robe, carries a sack of toys, and arrives on his sleigh pulled by reindeer. He fills the children's stockings with candies and small toys.
    On Christmas Day, everyone sits down to the midday feast and finds a colorful Christmas cracker beside their dinner plate. A Christmas cracker is a paper-covered tube. When the end tabs are pulled, there is a loud crack. Out spills a paper hat to wear at dinner, small trinkets, and a riddle to read aloud to everyone at the table.
    The family enjoys a feast of turkey with chestnut stuffing, roast goose with currants, or roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Brussels sprouts are likely to be the vegetables. Best of all is the plum pudding topped with a sprig of holly. Brandy is poured over the plum pudding and set aflame. Then family members enjoy a dramatic show as it is carried into the dining room. Whoever finds the silver charm baked in their serving has good luck the following year The only thing that people eat on the day before the feast is Frumenty, a kind of porridge made from corn. Over the years the recipe changed. Eggs, fruit, spice, lumps of meat and dried plums were added. The whole mixture is wrapped in a cloth and boiled. This is how plum pudding began. The wassail bowl, brimming with hot, spiced wine, tops off the day's feast. It is said that all quarrels stop when people drink wassail.
    After dinner, the family gathers in the living room to listen to the Queen of England deliver a message over radio and television. At teatime in the late afternoon, the beautifully decorated Christmas cake is served.
    The day after Christmas is called Boxing Day. This day has nothing to do with fighting. Long ago, people filled church alms boxes with donations for the poor. Then on December 26, the boxes were distributed. Now people often use this day to give small gifts of money to the mail carrier, news vendor, and others who have helped them during the year.
    Beginning on Boxing Day, families can enjoy stage performances called pantomimes. This activity originally meant a play without words, or actors who mimed or entertained without speaking. Pantomime now refers to all kinds of plays performed during the Christmas season. Such familiar children's stories as "Cinderella" and "Peter Pan" delight young and old alike. In some towns, masked and costumed performers called mummers present plays or sing carols in the streets.

    I found Tomas to ask him if the boys had sent many letters up the chimney. He told me that there were no fireplaces in the building so the boys planned for a bonfire on the twenty third. I asked him if he would deliver those letters to me, he agreed.

    Building E was the temporary home to three hundred and sixty students from BAG Boys. JB insisted on sleeping in the building with his boys. I had offered all of the senior staff bedrooms in the house, but each of them is dedicated to their duty to their students. I think that they need the sights, sounds, and smells to stimulate them in the quiet time at night.
    Cullen, Cory, and I walked through the building to see how the boys had prepared for their holiday. There were a few sprigs of pine branches about with a small Christmas tree ball resting on it. Some of the boys had cards that they had received from their families taped to their lockers. I sat down on one boy's bed that had a simple message scrawled on a large sheet of construction paper. "God bless us everyone. And bless Mr. Chris and Mr. Bradford for giving me a home."
    I pulled JB's arm to sit beside me as I showed him the improvised sign. "I want this room gayly decorated. I want your boys to go with Nolan to cut a small tree to bring in here. See Turner for decorations for the tree. I want to see an old fashioned American Christmas represented here and I want to see it tomorrow morning.
    "I want you to have every boy of every age write a private letter to Santa. Please have those letters quietly delivered to me by tomorrow night." I hugged the old man and left with tears in my eyes.

    The last two buildings on our tour were filled to capacity and then some. At the front entrance to building B boys were busy constructing a Nativity scene. Cullen informed me that it was called a creche in Franççais.
    We started with the fourth floor that housed the one hundred and ninety students from BAP. It had been decided before the boys arrived to keep the two schools together. Not only the language consideration, but as a chance for the boys from the two schools to bond. Many of the boys from Paris have moved down to BAF. There are many reasons why, the most often voiced is that the boy wants to get away from the city and out by the sea. I can live with that.
    The four hundred and ten students from BAF were well settled in on the third and second floor. Cullen, Cory, and I were followed through the building as we walked each floor and looked into each cubicle. As we waked Cullen told us of the traditions of Franççais.

Christmas Traditions in France

    Christmas in France is a family holiday. The celebrations begin on December 5, which is St. Nicholas Eve. It is a day for gift-giving between friends and relatives. On that cold night, children leave their shoes by the hearth so Pere Noel, or Father Christmas, will fill them with gifts.
    Christmas Eve is the most special time in the French celebration of Christmas. Church bells ring and voices sing French carols, called noels.
    The family fasts all day, then everyone but the youngest children goes to midnight mass. The churches and cathedrals are beautifully lit, and most display a lovely antique creche. Afterward, the family returns home to a nighttime feast that is called le reveillon. The menu is different in the various regions of France. In Paris, it might be oysters and pate, while in Brittany, the traditional midnight supper is buckwheat cakes and sour cream.
    A few days before Christmas, the family sets up a nativity scene, called a creche, on a little platform in a corner of the living room. Some families also decorate a Christmas tree with colorful stars, lights, and tinsel, but the creche is much more important.
    The tradition in Provence, in the south of France, is to include, along with the Holy Family, the Three Kings, the shepherds, and the animals, delightful little figures from village life dressed in old-fashioned costumes. These figures might include a village mayor, a peasant, a gypsy, a drummer boy, and other colorful characters. Another tradition in Provence is for people to dress as shepherds and take part in a procession that circles the local church.
    To complete the elaborate creche in their home, children bring moss, stones, and evergreen branches for the finishing touches. When the candles are lit, the creche becomes the centerpiece of the Christmas celebration. The children gather around it to sing carols every night until Epiphany, on January 6.
    Christmas plays and puppet shows are popular entertainments at Christmas, especially in Paris and Lyons. The shop windows of large department stores have wonderful displays of animated figures that families like to visit.
    If any children did not leave their shoes out to be filled with gifts by Pere Noel on St. Nicholas Eve, they leave them out on Christmas Eve to be filled by Pere Noel or the Baby Jesus. Before going to bed, some families leave food and a candle burning, in case Mary passes by with the Christ Child. In homes that have a Christmas tree, Pere Noel hangs little toys, candies, and fruits on the tree's branches for the sleeping children.
    On Christmas Day, the family goes to church again and then enjoys another abundant feast of wonderful dishes, ending with the traditional buche de Noel, a rich buttercream-filled cake shaped and frosted to look like a Yule log.
    On New Year's, grown-ups visit their friends to exchange gifts with them and enjoy yet more feasting at the New Year's reveillon. The family gathers together again for a final feast on Epiphany on January 6. They eat a special flat pastry, a galette, that has a tiny old-fashioned shoe, a very little china doll, or a bean baked in it. Whoever finds the prize in their serving gets to be King or Queen for the day. As church bells ring, the celebration of the Christmas season comes to an end.

    I was extremely happy to see all the gala in the last building that housed my family from BAW Everywhere hung pine boughs covered with garland and bright colored Christmas tree balls. Christmas carols were playing on the building's PA system. The sights mixed with the fragrant aroma of the pine needles set me in a festive mood.
    To that point I had only been thinking of Christmas as a task that I had undertaken. I had been transformed into a child with eager anticipation of the big day. The festive spirit of building A put me in the mood to do something special. for my boys from around the globe.
    I called Andy and placed an order for nineteen hundred bright red stockings filled with candy. I ordered dried fruit as well as extra citrus and apples. I wanted bushels and bushels of nuts. I wanted pecans, almonds, acorns, walnuts, hazel nuts—yes Mr. Carter, I even asked for two bushels of peanuts. Andy was looking at his computer and located a broken down truck with a load of ripe pears that were about to be tossed out. I bought them at cost.
    During our first week at Camp Christopher I had learned that citrus is a rarity for the boys in Europe. BAF has a good supply as does BAE, but BAP and BAB rarely get the fresh fruit. Something else that none of them get is a large, ripe Georgia Peach. I had Andy locate thirty boxes of the sweetest peachs in all of the world and I wanted them soft and ripe. He found them and flew them to me on the twenty third.
    The twenty third was my target date.

    After our walk through inspection of the twenty first I had a new mind set. Roddy was working night and day to sew footgear for every boy in camp. He had nine women cutting and turning the leather up into shape. Roddy acquiesced and allowed the women to punch the holes for the lacing, but he inspected each pair first. When he at last realized that he would not finish the work alone he allowed the women to use the narrow bands of leather to stitch the moccasins and apply his small branding iron to the heel that said that they had been handmade by him.
    He cried on my shoulder when he told me that the moccasins were a lie. I comforted him and told him that he had made many of them by himself and I challenged him to tell me which ones he had made and which ones the women had helped him with. I drove my point home when I reminded him that he had inspected each pair at every step the work. He finally gave up and agreed that it was necessary and that only he and I would ever know the truth.
    With him tired out from his day's efforts I encouraged him to sleep in the dormitory. I pointed out to him that he still had another year to go before I would allow him to sleep in the dorm at school He smiled and took off. With him out of the way Cory, Cullen, Jimmy, and I locked my bedroom door and read letters. As much as I love my little Black Fox, I have to keep him away from me when there are things going on that I don't want repeated.
    The letters were poignant. Cullen translated those letters that we could not read. Jimmy had his computer up and loaded with the data base listing all of the boys in camp. Very carefully he entered each boy's wish next to his name and assigned a category to the gift. At the end of the night we sorted by category and found only three major areas of desire.
    A boy from BAW wrote a letter that my mind on a track. He said, "Dear Santa, I don't much believe in you. I do believe in the spirit of giving that this season brings, but it has nothing to do with the birth of my Savior. I guess that you would have to study your Bible with Pastor Cas to understand.
    "What I do believe in is Chris. He provides everything for me by the Grace of the Great Provider, my Lord Jesus. Chris is a very good man and he only cares for us boys. I want him to have the best Christmas ever this year and I want him to know how much we all love him.
    "I am supposed to ask for something for myself. I would love to have the Katy Perry CD called "Teenage Dream ". My CD player burned up, but I can play the CD on my computer, it has pretty good sound. I wish that I had a pair of earphones 'cause the speakers are for suck.
    "Anyway that is my gift list for this year.
    "Love, ____." I'm going to keep his name secret for now.
    It was only eleven thirty so I called Andy. I wanted eighteen hundred iPods with docking stations before sundown on the twenty third. Andy had a truck backed against the shipping dock at opening time the following morning. The truck was loaded and drove directly to the airport. A plane laden wtih iPods was off loading at Camp Christopher shortly after noon.
    Andy had every non-essential employee out shopping to fill my list of personal gifts. They were loaded on a large Sikorsky and delivered around three thirty. I was twenty four hours ahead of the game.
    Very late at night on the twenty third twenty boys dressed in santa caps and masks moved through the guest's dormitories. They had maps to show them where each target was supposed to be sleeping. Some of the staff members saw them and added their assistance to the effort. Each boy in every building received a large gift stocking filled with candy, nuts, and fruit. Each boy received his requested personal gift as well as an iPod, complete with a docking station with speakers.
    While those twenty boys worked as secret Santas my small band of boys, enlarged by RD. Turner, and Craig, went through BAW's dormitory quietly distributing the secretly wish for gifts to my very precious family. I quietly slipped the personal gifts into the cubicle of my special helpers. Getting into Cullen's and Jimmy's room proved to be a challenge, but I persevered.

So there you have it. Is your friction enhanced by my fiction?
Tell me about it at fisherman@iname.com
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