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Church Notebook: A merry, bright Christmas Day

It may have been on the chilly side, but Christmas Day turned out to be sunny and bright.

Not like the ones I grew up with, for sure, because they were often celebrated amid at least a foot or more of snow. Pretty, but not much fun if you had to travel any distance.

But it wasn’t snowing, and my daughter only lives on the other side of town, so the “trip” to enjoy the holiday with her family, and some of her husbands’, was short and pleasant. And it was so nice to have little ones around for a bit — my youngest grandchild is now 16, so her sister-in-law’s grandchildren filled the bill quite nicely. Older youngsters express delight with gifts, but there’s something special about the reactions of the 5-and-under bunch. 

At Nature's Mercy

Air Force personnel unload supplies for Klamath flood victims at Jack McNamara Field in 1964. Courtesy of the Del Norte County Historical Society
Enough water to flood an area the size of France. Thousands of residents of Oregon, California, Washington, Idaho and Nevada made homeless. In today’s dollars, it left $3.5 billion in damage — the Christmas Flood of 1964 was one of the most significant weather events ever in the Northwest, but it wasn’t the first flood of its size, and likely won’t be the last.   

What happened in 1964?

A rainy, snowy fall across Oregon set the region up for a perfect storm of melting snowpack and full rivers when the rain started on Dec. 18. A high-pressure system had kept much of the rain north of California until then, but now “a storm track 500 miles wide extending from near Hawaii to Oregon and Northern California was established,” according to information provided by hydrologist Reg Kennedy, of the National Weather Service’s Eureka office.  

Wishes Come True

Wyatt Patton, almost 6, smiles after opening a set of walkie talkies, which he requested for Christmas and received through Operation Santa. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Wyatt Patton could barely contain his excitement, which is understandable for a kid who’s going to turn 6 in four days. But that wasn’t why he was excited. He was excited because Santa Claus arrived early and gave him exactly what he asked for. “Walkie talkie! Walkie talkie!” Wyatt exclaimed, jumping up and down with his mother, Britney, looking on.

“I think it’s absolutely amazing,” she said. “He’s been nonstop talking about it since four months ago.”

Church Notebook: Christmas time at last

You know what I miss from the old days?


I remember going with a group, first of young people and later, as an adult, from my church in a little town in upstate New York, to sing. 

Fairy tales and religion

This is the season in which the power of religion presents us with magical displays in our homes and communities. 

It is also a time when we have blended folk tales and customs with profound sacredness. 

Hero Shop

About 70 kids showed up at Walmart on Saturday for “Shop with a Hero,” where kids got to shop for Christmas presents with members of local law enforcement, firefighters and Coast Guard servicemen from the Dorado.

‘Edventures’ club organizes Polar Plunge

DNHS student Derek Higgins, right, looks for turtles with his new friend Ramone, left, last year in Costa Rica. Higgins and another student traveled there with sponsorship from the World Edventures Booster Club, which is hoping to raise funds to send students to the Mediterranean this summer. Submitted
Folks looking for an original way to bring in the new year and shake off their New Year’s Eve hangover can take a plunge — into Crescent City Harbor.

Del Norte High School’s World Edventures Booster Club is hosting its first ever Polar Bear Plunge and Chili Cook-Off on New Year’s Day. After sprinting into the ocean and back out, people can warm up with some chili and a hot shower. The event is a fundraiser that will help pay for seven high school students to explore the Mediterranean coast this summer.

Holiday Events

Light show at DN Fairgrounds

The Del Norte County Fairgrounds is decked out with thousands of lights as the drive-through Christmas Light Show continues. The event will be held 6-9 p.m. through Christmas Eve. Suggested donation is $5 per car.

Sounds of the Season

Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Bess Maxwell Elementary School on Wednesday “filled the house” as parents came to hear their kids perform in the school band for the school’s winter concert. Since Del Norte County Unified School District hired a new full-time music teacher at the elementary school level and a part-time music teacher at Redwood School, winter concerts have been drawing quite the crowd, Superintendent Don Olson told School Board members Thursday.

“We have 162 fifth-grade band students this year,” he said. “(The concerts) are filling the house. It’s been an amazing turnout.”

Service for those with holiday blues

The holidays are usually a time to break out the lights, bake cookies and celebrate with family, but for some, getting into the spirit of the season can be a chore.

For those who are grieving the death of a loved one or have suffered any other loss, the Blue Christmas service at the United Methodist Church on Wednesday can offer a respite from the fun and the frolic. Pastor Carol Layton, who has overseen a grief support group at the church for about 10 years, said she started the Blue Christmas service five years ago to create a space of remembrance and peace.

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