Thursday, January 5, 2012


WallyWrapping 1, 2011

A lot of families take in their single friends on holidays. Holidays can be tough on singles, and having experienced more than a few ourselves, we know how dreary it can be to have macaroni from a box by yourself while everyone else is enjoying the company of the holiday dinner table.
Here at the Bonney house, we believe the more the merrier. We’ve always believed in sharing the oblige of our noblesse with our unattached friends. We always have Cook prepare an extra pheasant. The footmen place extra foot stools around the drawing room and extra seats – folding, of course; we don’t want the invited to get too comfortable, if you know what I mean—at the children’s table in the front hall. The downstairs maid irons a few extra napkins and the driver is sent out to collect the lonelies who will view our wonderful family day and wish it were their own. 
For the last several years one of the regular attendees at our holiday table has been the imminent artist Wally Torta. He’s good company. He’s been spending holidays with us for enough years now that our most cynical relatives no long suspect that because he hails from Ohio he must be a Republican. He goes along with our rituals and never complains. He always brings something to share, though I thought the year he came with the Hong Kong flu was a little much.
This year was no exception. Wally brought illustrations for everyone. All are wonderful. At least one brought tears to the eyes of the recipient. At dinner Wally wore his paper crown with such pride that I fear he would have worn it home had we not pulled it off at the last minute lest those neighbors of his in Norfolk get jealous of the rich life he’s lived for a day and mug him.
As cherished as Wally’s gifts are—and despite my protests, he is good company and always welcomed—the surprise of this year’s gifts was their wrapping, two examples of which you see here. The guy’s a genius, I tell you. I do wish, though, he’d quit going on so about Café Stella. You’d think they were giving him free stuff.

 WallyWrapping 2, 2011


  1. Wow--how special that he gave everyone sketches. They must be treasures. I can well imagine that he'd be a hilarious guest in the mix. Sounds like the makings of a wonderful Christmas.

  2. My family almost always invited single sailors to join us for the holidays. No big surprise there as Dad was a retired Anchor Clanker and Mom even spent 9 years in the Canoe Club.

    I, on the other hand, being far more civilized opted for the Air Force when Uncle Sam sent his greeting back in '72 which explains my disdain for those folks in the Popeye suits.

    Republican????? I was born a Buckeye but my parents saw the light and moved to Virginia when I was 16 months old, saving me from the clutches of the evil elephant clan.

    Just catching up on my reading here so Happy New Year, Chris!