As we look back on 2003, the community of Christopher Creek lost a lot of wonderful people who are all sadly missed: Betty Palmquest, Gertrude Kuntz, Mike and Peggy Milburn's daughter, Victoria Lee Zingales, Ed Lydic, Tony and Ronny daughter Rhonda.
Dean Shield also lost her brother, Earl Hindman, this month. For those of you who didn't know Earl, he played the man behind the fence in the long-running sitcom, "Home Improvement."
Earl was a very big man with a large heart and a great sense of humor. Several years ago, Frank and I had the good fortune of meeting Earl when he came to Christopher Creek to visit Dean.
Tribute to man's best friend
Many here in Christopher lost their pets in 2003. Bob and Betty Lusson lost their best friend Tiffany. Margo Holmes lost her dog Buck. Rhea Hoedle lost Silver Dove. And Dan Christian lost Clyde.
Dewey and Bianca Malmin lost their bird Baby, and Pastor Ed and Susan Hepworth lost their best friend Colby. They were all part of their families and we send our warmest thoughts to help keep them company.
In 2003, God gave our wonderful community some babies. Toria Blank and Bob Washburn had a son Destin, Denny and Darla Hagar a son, Bridger, and John and Olive Matus were grandparents to Alicia Matus.
Several people moved away from our community and we miss them. John and Ingrid Monk moved back east. Keith and Sally Tharp moved to the Valley due to health problems, but we have the fortune of seeing them off and on. Jeannie Moore moved to Payson due to health problems, Jarve and Judy Sellars moved to Phoenix, then Jarve and Judy moved back. I knew they wouldn't be able to stay away and for that we are glad. It's really hard to give up on the beauty this area has to offer.
We hate to see wonderful people leave our community, but on the other hand, we have also gained some really nice people here in Christopher Creek.
We welcome some new residents, Pete and Kathryne Rowe, Alex and Irma Armenta, Morgan and Suzanne Davis, Albert and Debra Dunigan, Scott and Shara Baldock, Irvin and Sharon Ingram and Paul Gulickand and Barbara Bowman.
The new Christopher Creek by-pass around the community opened in October, and the road through Christopher Creek was closed for about eight weeks. Residents were heard saying, "it's too quiet I can't sleep." Others said they never knew there neighbor had a dog till they were finally able to hear it bark.
Silence fell on Christopher Creek on Oct. 18, when both sides of 260 through this small community were closed. You could do a 360-degree turn in the middle of the road and no one would care. You could walk across 260 and take your time. It was dead quiet --omething the residents were not used to.
Christopher Creek held its first block Party Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 18 and 19. You could walk down the road on 260 through the community from one end to the other and stop at all the booths along the way. If you didn't want to walk, you could get aboard the one-horse carriage driven by Charlie Motley. It was a fun two days for everyone who came by, and sure to be an annual event here in Christopher Creek.
Christopher Creek had experienced the largest bark beetle epidemic ever recorded in Arizona in 2003. Density and drought conditions had caused our beautiful forest to be inundated by this horrible bark beetle. As you drove up through the community, you could see the devastation that they caused to the magnificent Ponderosa pines.
In September 2003, the first case of the West Nile virus hit Arizona, and the beef industry has now been faced with a mad cow crisis due to one confirmed case in Washington. The war continues and we would like to see our men come home.
Thanks to all of you and may 2004 be a safer year, and may the Lord bring us tons of moisture and no fires.