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A Christmas story of being in the right place at the right time

Peggy McDaniel of Salisbury found a picture in the December issue of the magazine, “Good Old Days,” and the story that accompanied it charmed her so much that she brought it to the Post.

Could this, she asked, be featured in the paper during the Christmas season?

She thinks the picture was taken by the late Johnny Suther, long time Post photographer, during the 1950 Christmas parade, and the story was written by Betty Diane Crow, who was then a little girl with short hair. She’s in the lower right corner of the picture, looking toward the photographer.

Of course her parents were so excited to have their daughter’s picture on the front page of the newspaper that they bought a copy of that picture. But that wasn’t the end of the story.

In 1958 when Betty Diane entered high school, she started dating a junior, and they went to that year’s Christmas parade together and then to his home for hot chocolate — and she saw a picture just like the one her family had at home on a wall in his family’s home.

Why, she asked, did they have her picture on their wall? They didn’t have the picture because of her, the family said. They didn’t know her then. They bought the picture because their son — and her date — was the boy at the center bottom of the picture wearing a cap and eating a candy cane.

Eleven years after that picture was taken, they were married. And now their children love to hear the story of the picture and that wonderful Christmas when their paths first crossed.

“I couldn’t find a Crow in the phone book,” Peggy McDaniel says. “I’d like to know who she is and who that little boy was who she later married.”

She and her sister, Brenda Lucas of China Grove, share the magazine and both of them wonder if anybody recognizes anyone else in the picture.

And who was Santa Claus?

Contact Rose Post at 704-797-4251 or rpost@salisburypost.com.

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