When a retired cleric visits the memories of his past in the Smoky City of Pittsburgh during 1953, he recalls the many adventures he had with his best friend, Jack. The boys were inseparable and always up to something. One night, Jack even stole his dad’s car for an adventure at the Yellow Wheel Saloon.
In the summer of that year, though, something changes: the polio epidemic hits Pittsburgh. Big Hank, a tough kid, falls victim to the disease, and the boys are shocked that something like illness could befall someone so strong. Life for Jack goes on, however, as he begins to mature over the passing months—but not so much that he ever forgets to laugh.
Even when school starts, Big Hank is still in the hospital. Jack wants to do something for him—but doesn’t know what he can do. With Christmas drawing near, he thinks of the perfect gift to aid in his recovery. The cleric remembers all of this and realizes all things change and that change never stops. Growth is an ongoing part of life, and it often helps to look back at who we once were to recognize the person we have become.