This is my last column for the year; 2005 is history. It is remarkable how swiftly this year has gone.
My husband and I spent the Christmas holiday with our children and grandchildren and one great-grandson in Yuma. My, how that city has grown. When we arrived from Pennsylvania back in 1967, the population of Yuma was about 18,000. All the shopping was done in so-called "Old Town," or downtown Yuma. There is a sign now that says Yuma has more than 220,000 people. I must say that the shopping has improved greatly, and we really enjoyed that. But we did not enjoy the heavy traffic. The city planners did not use foresight when they allowed the city to expand, and did not foresee the gridlock that occurs on all the main streets.
I hope if that kind of growth hits Payson, the city planners will take that into account.
Tonto Village looked extremely good to us as we drove to our house. It is so wonderful to be back home.
The Double D Restaurant and Saloon will have a New Year's Eve celebration starting at 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31. Music will be played by DJ "Bud Light," aka John Marksbury. Munchies and noisemakers will be provided. Come and enjoy a drink or two with your neighbors and help bring Tonto Village into the new year.
The Domino Divas of Tonto Village held a Christmas party Dec. 14 with a cookie and gift exchange. We drew numbers, from 1 to 16, and the holder of number 1 got to pick any gift from the table, until we called the last number. The fun came when we could exchange our gift with any other gift that was already picked by someone else. The gals called this game "Dirty Santa." A prized gift could be exchanged only twice, and there was quite a bit of fun, with gifts going from one person to another. There was also a cookie exchange and, of course, a lot of good food to enjoy as we played dominoes.
Tonto Village Fire District
Chief Alliger reports that Christmas trees will again be accepted for recycling on the back lot of the fire department. If the gate is locked, the tree can be left by the gate to be picked up later. Or, if you have a strong arm, heave it over the fence.
Alliger stresses the importance of fire safety because of the extremely dry conditions. There are no fire restrictions at this time, but a great deal of caution is recommended. If you have a burn pit, use it, and have a water hose available in case of flying embers.
The Tonto Village Fire Board will meet at 10 a.m. Jan. 21 at the fire station. Everyone in the district is urged to attend to keep abreast of all the news of the district. The meeting is always open to the public, so mark your calendar for the change of dates for the meeting.
Tuesday was ladies' nine-ball tournament day at the Double D. Laura Nickerson took top honors along with Patty Boeschling and Kara Shaw. Sunday afternoon, the eight-ball tournament got under way with Joe Ferraro leading everyone. Harvey Poyner and Betty Koutz shot for second and third places.
Happy New Year to everyone. I hope that 2006 is a good year for all and that we stay healthy and avoid the flu.