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Vintage Angel "Sisters"
Edwin Stephenson (with, from left, Lester, Judy, Larry, Joan) places their angel in 1962.
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By Jennifer Strobel
By JENNIFER MILLER STROBEL
"Hi, Angel Daddy!"
My father, Curtis Miller--focused on getting into the grocery store for last-minute holiday fare--glanced around to see the source of this enthusiastic greeting directed his way.
It came from one of my friends, a gregarious woman who had, on occasion, politely acknowledged him, but who, on that December 2011 day, was putting all her energetic joy into her hello.
Her greeting made him smile. And when he told me about the happy moment, it made me smile, too.
She'd read the column he'd written as "guest author" for last year's Christmas Flashback. In the column, he'd told of the angel Christmas tree topper he'd bought for 50 cents near his Ithaca, N.Y., home, when he and my mother were practically honeymooners, and their first child, my older sister, just 2.
He based the column on the memoir he wrote for his family in 2001.
Here's a passage: "The angel is old now, if indeed angels do get old. She looks frail, with her wings slightly askew and tattered.
My father is 85, and my sister 65. The angel--with her painted cardboard face and gold cardboard wings surrounded by glistening, white spun glass--is still with us, still treasured. Come to find out, she has "Angel Sisters" right here in the Fredericksburg area.
After last year's column, readers shared photos and stories of their look-alike angels. I'd do a double take when an email would arrive with what looked like a duplicate photo of the one we had already published.
Penny Parrish, a Stafford County resident, wrote: "I was stunned when I picked up the last section of the FLS yesterday and saw the picture of the angel. I have one just like it on my tree, and I have never seen another one like it before."
We thought it would be fun to publish an angel encore with stories and photos of the newly discovered angel family.
The shepherds may have heard angels on high, but these angels came from stores with some distance between them--ours from New York State, another from Chicago, others here King George, Westmoreland and Fredericksburg.
All have presided over holidays from treetops and mantels. One now even has her own custom-made welded stand.
Enjoy their stories, and have a Merry Christmas.