A Christopher Creek instant classic would be the best way to describe last Saturday night’s Christmas Electric Light Parade. The 17 superbly decorated entries were not the reason. Nor was the fact that there were no more than 50 hardy spectators sprinkled along the parade route that made it so special.
The night was still and pitch-black. Covering the ground and adorning the trees was a fresh six-inch snow. When they began to arrive, the lighted conveyances were like jewels in the darkness as they threaded their way up the Loop to the staging area at the Tall Pines Market. Even the flashing lights from the Christopher-Kohl’s Fire District emergency vehicle reflected back from the white backdrop well out in the woods.
Folks milled around and took photos of all the entrants. How bright, colorful and vibrant the lights were. “Too Tall” Bill and Susan featured their large blow-up Santa on the back of their unit. Further back the spectacular “too tall” snowman rode high above the Landmark entry. There were Josh and young Hayden on a quad. Dean and Genny’s Red Sled was well lit with Doc and Pepper in the rumble seat. Arriving at the very last minute, Randy Hostee unloaded two quads he trailered in from Colcord. Elf Julia drove one with her friend Megan aboard.
Then there were Alex and the grandkids, Scott and Marilyn, Bud light John, Pam and Dave Voita, Mr. and Mrs. Duane Hansel and a host of others.
And then we were off! The eight on Santa’s sleigh complained not once about the night’s chill. Passing the Christopher Creek Lodge and the Wheeler Inn one would imagine themselves in a wonderland of lights. It was about there that the three deer stopped to watch the passing parade — yes, three real whitetail deer!
Way down Columbine road, near the homestead, the trees hung heavy with white adornment, arching over the narrow lane. Ah, the night was a team of horses and some sleigh-bells shy of a Currier and Ives moment.
A last-minute change of venue had Sheila up at Creekside hosting all the post-parade participants and spectators shoehorned in on top of her busy dinner crowd. In the back, Dave and Rosemary, with Irma and Alex, raffled off some fabulous prizes to the parade entries. Did we hear one of the prizes was a free carwash — down at the carwash on the Creek?
At the kids’ party down at the fire station that afternoon, Santa arrived to nearly 25 children and more than that number of parents and grandparents. After reading a story with the help of elves Julia and Megan, the Ol’ Boy visited with each young one on his lap until we got to the big boys who just wanted to shake hands. Each one told him of their wishes — there were a number of requests for hoverboards this year and one girl wanted a boyfriend!
Every year, it seems there is a special moment and this year there were two. After ascertaining that all the little kids had seen Santa, he then let out with a sharp summons, “Spencer, come on up here.” It was as if Spencer was sitting on springs. With a smile across his entire face he came forward. He announced last year that he was too big to sit in Santa’s lap.
Spencer had a big box of cookies for Santa this year. He told Santa his mom made them for him. He then shared his list and asked for a hug. He might tower a foot taller than Santa, but he’s just a great kid. We can only speculate that he has been shopping at the Valley malls with his mom. A neighbor shared the story that on the trip here, Spencer announced to his mom that he was going to the Creek to see the real Santa!
Kerry Blanton lives in the mobile home park and walks his dogs around the loop a couple times a day. Sadly, he shared that his sister Kay perished in a horrific car accident near the Four Peaks turnoff on SR 87 a month ago. She lived in Star Valley and volunteered to drive a neighbor to a funeral in the Valley at the time of the accident. Kay was born in Minneapolis, Minn. and was just 52.
From the “Must be the Water” file — it has come to our attention Mr. and Mrs. Hansel tied the knot over in Laughlin, Nev. a couple weeks back. Duane had been courting Judy for 29-1/2 years. No sense rushing into anything!
And then Mike from Tall Pines Market and Darlene got hitched in a ceremony down at Tonto Creek last week.
Our congratulations go out to both couples!
Now, perhaps unrelated to what you just read, my new favorite line comes from Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, quote: “No risk it, no biscuit” … and that’s another week in the Creek.