|The Empty Stocking
as told by Heather Looney and Jared Hagan
This is a heartwarming story of Pauline and Scott Hutchinson and the Christmas of 1944. The two were a happily married couple with a house full of children. They were just a regular family from Bland County. They lived in a log cabin that Scott had built from trees cut down from Wolf Creek Mountain. They were was nothing out of the ordinary about them until Scott was called away to Europe fight the Nazis in World War II.
Scott served his country bravely, but as any GI, he really desired to be at home in his cabin with his family. His family desired his return home too. Pauline and the children’s sadness were brought out when the Christmas of ‘44 came around. It was hard for the family celebrate whilst their patriarch was fighting the evil Nazis.
On December 25, 1945, Pauline had just awakened, still in her nightgown, when her sister, Dot, came for a visit. Pauline had her sister take a picture of her, holding a picture of her beloved husband and an empty stocking. She wanted the picture to represent how much she missed him. She sent a copy of it to him, with the following written on the back:
Dec. 25th, 1944
At the beginning of 1945 the terrible war was finally coming to an end. This Christmas would be a much happier tale. With the Axis defeated and Europe rebuilding, Scott was finally able to return home. This Christmas was a truly joyous one.
The family had so much to be thankful for the following Christmas. Scott had safely returned home to his loving wife, Pauline, and his two adoring daughters Peggy and Bobbie Jo. The happiness that had once filled the Hutchinson family home, had finally returned.