Think about it — snowmen huddled around a roaring campfire — wouldn’t they melt?
Not if you’re the snowmen in Rick and Marlene’s Kubiak’s fantastic Christmas display that can be viewed at their home located at the top on Tonto Rim and Rimwood roads in Strawberry. The actual address is 8720-8742 Tonto Rim Road.
The Kubiak holiday spectacle has been a frequent top-three winner in the Rim Country Chamber of Commerce’s annual Christmas lighting contest and in 2011 took first place.
Those who have viewed this year’s display say it is bigger and better than previous ones thanks to Rick and his neighbor’s hard work and dedication.
Marlene calls it “the best in the Rim Country” saying her husband and neighbor worked “six days a week the last two months to make it come together beautifully.”
In addition to the snowmen basking in the heat of the campfire, this year’s display includes a Santa Claus at a pond near the driveway and a Christmas Village which Rick built during the summer months.
The display lights are turned from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night through New Year’s Eve.
It’s well known in the two tiny mountain hamlets that the spectacle is a labor of love for Rick and his friends, but the real motivation behind it is to gather contributions for the Pine-Strawberry Food Bank.
The Kubiaks ask that those who wish to view the holiday display bring along a few non-perishable food items to donate.
“Last year, we had 26 bags of food and we hope to exceed that this year,” said Marlene. “We hope all our neighbors and friends will bring their children to see and bring some food for those who need a helping hand.”
Holidays heat up at P/S School
The Pine Strawberry School is celebrating the holidays with a Christmas Tree Auction, a band concert, a food drive and its annual Christmas program.
The auction begins at 5:30 p.m. today, Friday, Dec. 6, in the school gymnasium.
Christmas trees decorated by various clubs and classes will be up for auction and ornaments and Christmas cards will be on sale.
Also, patrons can have individual or family Christmas pictures taken at a holiday photography booth.
During the auction, hot chocolate and cookies will be served.
A visit from Santa will highlight the festive evening.
The school band, which is an accomplished one, will hold its annual holiday performance at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, in the gymnasium. The school festivities culminate with the annual Christmas program at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 18, in the gymnasium.
School officials are inviting the community to turn out for the program saying, “The holiday tradition is one that everyone will enjoy.”
The food drive, which is sponsored by the school’s Builder’s Club, is under way and will continue through Dec. 18.
For it, school classes are vying to see which can collect the most food for the Pine-Strawberry Food Bank. The winning class in each wing receives a hot chocolate and cookie party.
A Tree of Giving has been set up in the foyer of the Pine library that allows patrons to purchase books and donate them back to the library.
Each ornament on the tree is inscribed with a book title and the price of the book. Those who wish to donate can simply select an ornament (title) pull it off the tree, take it to the front counter and pay in cash or check.
Then donors should complete a bookplate form. When the book arrives at the library, bookplates with the donor’s name will be placed inside the front cover.
All purchases are tax deductible — the library is a 501c (3) organization.
While at the library, be sure and purchase a box of those scrumptious See’s Candies.
They’ll provide a wonderful holiday sweet treat and all the proceeds benefit the library, which we all know is the finest small-town public library in Arizona.
Former Payson Roundup Pine-Strawberry columnist Joy Hafford e-mailed to say she is suffering a bit of homesickness after having to move away a few months ago.
“I sure do miss the Rim Country and covering the P/S Happenings,” she writes. “ I really treasure the time I had doing it. No events anywhere can compare with those in P/S because of the incredibly beautiful surroundings, small-town atmosphere and kind-hearted, giving people.”
Devil of a time
Since I spent 27 years covering sports for the Roundup before retiring a few months ago, I can’t close this column without asking, “How ’bout them Devils?”
Last Saturday, the ASU football team improved to 10-2 with a 58-21 win over archrival Arizona.
Next up, the Devils play Stanford, tomorrow, Dec. 7 in Tempe for the Pac-12 championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl.
During my years at the Roundup, editor Pete Aleshire — a Stanford graduate — and I had many discussions on just what the school’s mascot, a tree, represents.
Despite his explanations, I still haven’t figured it out. But then I went to ASU, not Stanford.
The “Stanford Tree” is the unofficial mascot and has been called one of America’s most bizarre and controversial college mascots. It also regularly appears at the top of the Internet’s “worst mascot” list.
According to a Stanford Web site, the school’s band has adopted a formal selection process for those who wish to serve as “Tree” mascots.
Candidates, the Web site says, must go through “grueling and humiliating physical and mental challenges” to be selected.
Gee, I didn’t know being a tree was that tough.
But what can you expect from an elitist West Coast university that once considered the “Steaming Manhole” and the “French Fry” as mascots?