There were no politicians, flowery speeches, or ticker tape parades, but by all accounts the 35 people who came out to honor 10 local veterans at the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library last Wednesday, made the event a huge success.
Becky Waer and the library staff took tremendous effort to make the atmosphere both warm and intimate.
Each veteran present had their biography displayed with pictures and mementos from their service.
A “white table” was set up to honor prisoners of war and those missing in action.
The veterans present represented several conflicts including World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, and Iraq, plus a mom whose two sons who are currently serving in Afghanistan.
Each vet had an opportunity to share their stories and memories with the appreciative crowd in a relaxed “talk story” kind of way — something most formal ceremonies miss.
One fellow brought along the gun that a German soldier had shot him with — a memento one of his fellow soldiers confiscated after he had been med-evaced off the battle field.
What a fitting tribute to our local veterans and one that I’m sure will become an important local tradition.
Congratulations to Sharon Al Khalisi who was the winner of the beautiful quilt donated by the Strawberry Patchers in conjunction with the Pine-Strawberry Archaeological and Historical Society. The quilt drawing was just one of the many ongoing fund-raisers the Historical Society hosts each year to ensure the Pine-Strawberry Museum and Strawberry School House can be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.
The Archaeological and Historical Society is a nonprofit organization that depends on donations, membership fees, and other fund-raisers including books relating to our area’s past, the very popular calendar featuring pictures by SRP photographer, Ed Tolliver, exquisite cotton throws (for sale at the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library and the Ponderosa Market), and gift shop sales. The 2010 calendar should be on sale soon so keep an eye out for this treasured item that would make a perfect holiday gift idea.
The Pine Public Library and the Grand Canyon Historical Society will be sponsoring a presentation titled the Human History of the Grand Canyon from noon to 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 21 in the Library Activity Room. Michael Anderson, Ph.D., from Strawberry will discuss how humans made their home at or near the Grand Canyon since the retreat of the last ice age. The presentation will start with Paleolithic people and trace various cultures and explorers — their lifestyles, tools, clothing, diets and other aspects up until 1919 when Congress designated the Grand Canyon a national park.
This program is open to the public and refreshments will be served. The Library Activity Room is located adjacent to the playground in the Pine Community Center. For additional information, contact the library at 476-3678.
Tomorrow night (Saturday, Nov. 21) the long-awaited Tellabration event begins at 7 p.m. at the Cultural Hall in downtown Pine. This unique evening includes masterful storytellers sharing a variety of tales — some funny, some historical, some legendary, but all entertaining. This is the 10th year that Don Doyle and the DPS Quilt Angels have brought the Tellabration to Pine and each year it seems to get more popular. This is not surprising since the cost of this top-notch evening of entertainment is only $5 per person. This is truly a family event that will be enjoyed by young and old alike, so don’t miss this wonderful evening of fun.
The Pine-Strawberry Arts and Crafts Guild continues to display their lovely homemade gifts at their Christmas Boutique, Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. throughout the month of November. They will also be open on Friday, Nov. 27 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. There are many wonderful Christmas ornaments and decorations, plus beautiful handcrafted gifts for all ages. I especially loved the fuzzy baby jackets and matching blankets.
The Christmas Boutique is held in the Arts & Crafts Room across from the ramada in the Thrift Store/Senior Center building. The Pine-Strawberry Arts and Crafts Guild donates all the profits from their Christmas Boutique to local charities.
The much-anticipated first Festival of Lights takes place a week from Saturday on Nov. 28. Businesses around town are going all out to light up the town and will be opening their doors around 4 p.m. to offer holiday shopping specials. The Jingle Bell Parade begins at 6 p.m. and this year’s theme pays tribute to our military personnel. The tree lighting ceremony takes place at 6:30 and there will be plenty of fiddle music, caroling, refreshments, and a visit from Santa himself to round out the evening.
Also don’t forget the residential property Christmas decorating contest sponsored by Strawberry’s Elite. Get your entry form at the post office.
For those who plan to display Nativity sets at the Cultural Hall on Dec. 3, 4 and 5, you’ll need to bring your displays to Pine between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2. In the past there have been as many as 100 different sets and the variety is what makes this free public display a holiday tradition for so many families in the Rim Country. You can be an important part of this unique display and help others discover the real meaning of Christmas by displaying your Nativity sets — I assure you they will be much appreciated and well cared for. If you have any questions, please contact organizer, Linda Howard at 476-3001.
The Pine-Strawberry Elementary School’s Annual Christmas Tree Auction is right around the corner. This lively tradition will be held at 6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4 in the school gym. Come support the kids’ programs by bidding on your favorite tree. There will also be a quilt auctioned off, a bake sale, homemade Christmas cards and lots of fun and laughter. Cookies and hot chocolate will be provided and the children will have an opportunity to visit with Santa as well.
The Pine-Strawberry Food Bank is gearing up for their busiest time of the year. Not only do they help ensure families receive adequate meals year-round, but they provide full holiday dinners at Thanksgiving and Christmas to many local families as well.
Each year the food bank personnel partner with the Pine and Strawberry fire departments and many businesses around town to help collect toys and stocking stuffers so that children can be blessed on Christmas morning.
If you would like to be a part of this worthy effort, simply purchase a new toy (or several!) and drop them off at the Pine or Strawberry fire stations. Every bit helps and together we can make sure that Christmas is a special time for everyone in our community.