'A Christmas Story'

The house at 3159 W. 11th Street in Cleveland which was featured in the 1983 film "A Christmas Story" is shown Tuesday, March 29, 2005. Brian Jones, 29, of San Diego, a former Navy man with a degree in aerospace engineering, purchased the house on eBay. He wants to create a museum where the home scenes in the popular movie took place. And he's also selling leg lamps, like to one a character in the movie fell in love with. (AP Photo/The Plain Dealer, David I. Andersen) ** MANDATORY CREDIT ** AP Photo/The Plain Dealer

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
One of my favorite holiday movies was on last night — "A Christmas Story" on TNT. You know, the one where the kid wants the Red Ryder BB gun.

The movie is based on the writings of Jean Sheppard. Sheppard was an all night disc jockey here in New York who was worshipped for his ability to spin glorious yarns from the most mundane pieces of material. "A Christmas Story" is an exact visual depiction of my childhood. In Sheppard's fictional Hohman, Indiana — which is really Hammond — the snow was always dirty, the furnace always belched, there were bullies in the alley and some twerp would invariably get his tongue frozen to a metal post because of a dare.

Winter was something you did battle with, not in armor, but in ridiculous huge snowsuits with leggings that made it almost impossible to walk. In the movie one kid gets knocked in the snow and can't get up again. If you love the movie here's a tip: Sheppard's short stories are priceless. Look for this title, "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash."



Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith
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