Behind "Blue Lights"


The back cover of my CD, "Blue Lights," with pictures of Edgar and Floy Lyn Maiscott. Design by Nancy C. Sampson.


My song “Blue Lights,” which Ohio radio host Louie B. Free has kindly called “a new Christmas classic,” is about my parents, who met during wartime. When I was little, my mother, Floy Lyn, told me that before they had children, she and my dad, Edgar, put only blue lights on their Christmas tree. I found this very romantic (though I did appreciate the multicolored lights they thought my brother, sister, and I would prefer). My parents are gone now, but I have many sweet memories of our family Christmases, with the white star that topped the tree (my dad standing on a ladder to affix it to a branch), the ancient—it seemed to us kids—knitted parachute tree decoration from my dad’s childhood, and the equally ancient toy elephant, Jumbo, on rickety metal wheels, who had a special place under the tree. Another holiday talisman also spoke to a time early on in my parents’ marriage: a plaster Santa that my father won in a bar game when out with his buddies. He came home, put the two-foot-high Santa on the porch, rang the bell, and hid behind the car to watch my mom laugh when she opened the door. Isn’t it strange that a life can contain the horrors of war mixed with tender, at times mundane, moments? My dad didn’t talk much about the war, but thoughts of my mother must have helped him through—blue lights calling him home.


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