Publisher’s Perspective: Historical Essay No.74

Posted on 26 December 2013 by LeslieM

Since our family, the Eller family, has lived in Deerfield Beach since 1923, I’ve often been asked to put in writing some of the history of the area, either experienced personally, or that I heard from my parents or grandparents. For some of you old timers that might be worried about certain old “scandals,” don’t worry, I won’t be writing about those (smile).

David Eller, Publisher

My most memorial Christmas yet my wife’s best and worst

For a Christian, having your birthday on Christmas Eve is a bummer. People can give you a present and say, “This is your birthday and Christmas present. This actually happened to my wife’s father, Arthur, and her mother’s father, Edward, both of whom were born on Christmas Eve. Therefore, when my wife, Deborah, was pregnant with our first child in 1971 and the doctor predicted our baby would be born toward the end of December, we all laughed about it making some sort of record if our baby was also born on Dec. 24.

However, on Dec. 23 about 4.30 p.m., our baby son, Dana, decided he wanted out of his mama’s belly and started kicking hard. This was before cell phones. My wife was at home, and I was driving around locally delivering Christmas gifts to some of our customers and calling her from a customer’s office every hour. I’d just talked to her about 4:15 p.m. and she told me everything was fine. Therefore, I was having a good time at Consulting Engineer John Grant’s office party in Boca Raton. But, when I called home about 5: 15 p.m.and no one answered, I knew I was in trouble. My wife, shortly after talking to me on the phone had suddenly gone into hard labor. Not able to reach me, she called my mother who lived nearby, who rushed over to drive her to Bethesda Hospital in Boynton. My mother, very excited, got lost a couple of times trying to find the hospital, but they finally got there just a few minutes before my wife gave birth. I also arrived to the hospital just in time to also welcome our first born, son Dana, into this world. It was 42 years ago this week. He weighed 7 pounds 11 ounces and was 20 inches long.

The next day, Dec. 24,I went to the store and bought a little boys’ red outfit 20 inches long with Santa and reindeers on it. It turned out to be way too big, as I had forgotten to adjust the length down for his head sticking out of it.

However, unbeknownst to me, the “fun” had just begun. The next day, Christmas, Dec. 25,1971, the Miami Dolphins were playing the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City for the AFC divisional championship.

Both had identical 10-3 records. I just had to watch this game and figured I could visit my wife and new son in the hospital as soon as the game was over. I had no idea that this game would ultimately go down as the longest professional football game in history.

Meanwhile, two of my mother’s brothers arrived in town to visit my grandmother in Boynton. They were big Kansas City supporters and they invited me to watch the game with them and make a $100 bet for the Dolphins to win. I agreed since I figured I would still have time to visit my wife and new son after the game. Big mistake. Miami spent most of the game playing catch-up to Kansas City. Miami tied the score at 24-24 with just 1:25 left in regulation when Bob Griese threw a 5 yard pass to Marv Fleming.

They were still tied after the first overtime. But, midway through the second overtime, Miami kicker GaroYepremian, with shoe laces still untied, kicked a 37-yard field goal to win the longest game in NFL history.

I collected my winnings from my uncles and headed off to the hospital. I arrived just as visiting hours were over. But, when I explained why I was late, I was able to convince them to let me have a short visit with my wife and new son. My wife was not a happy camper, but our new son didn’t seem to care, and, now, he has four sons of his own.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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