Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Rearranging for Christmas

Anne Tatum Hiebel: Oh my --- what a "HOOT" to see these, Dorothy, Harvey, myself and Jim Navartil in the front of the stage during one of our "Plays" . Yes, it was the very best highlight of the year. LOVED it, was SOOO much fun, and getting out of our regular classes to "rehearse" What FUN!! thanks for the memories. Merry Christmas
Advent signals the start of the Christmas season for most Christians. For us, it was Dick Williams.

The most powerful politician we knew was the School Board Chairman of District 460. When his 1950 Studebaker arrived at our one-room schoolhouse — towing a load of planks and concrete blocks borrowed from the Lampert Lumber Co. of Alexandria — it was a life-changing event.

We immediately started rearranging.

The biggest social event of the year in our young eyes was the annual Christmas Program, when parents and friends gathered to see eight grades of bashful children courageously recite poems, perform skits, play flutophones, sing carols and then await the arrival of Santa Claus for the equal distribution of brown bags stuffed with peanuts, ribbon candy, chocolates and a big red apple.

The tiny schoolroom barely accommodated the two dozen students enrolled during the year, but no matter. The erection of a proper stage of wooden planks on concrete piers was deemed essential. We scrambled to push and squeeze our ancient wooden desks, with their historic carvings and obsolete inkwells, into an even more efficient configuration. The new room arrangement allowed space for the stage to rise behind a magical curtain of bedsheets, wire and safety pins. It also rendered any serious study of spelling words or improper fractions impossible.

It was the most wonderful time of the year.


Last night we rearranged the family room. We faced the sectional the other way, moved a buffet table to the far end, set the chairs to face the Christmas tree and hung the wreath on the fireplace.

Up welled the same old feelings, a vague sense of anticipation. Couldn’t help thinking of Dick Williams and the beginning of the excitement.

It’s still the most wonderful time of the year.

Lorlee Bartos I remember it well. What year is that picture? Looks like Tommy Navratil in the gold shirt and Roger Williams next to him. And Sweet Mary Kluver in the green plaid. Not recognizing the others. Irene Marquette in the green in the upper photo. Love the back of the heads of the mothers and fathers. And wasn't Mr. Williams also Santa Claus?


Becky Jerdee said...

That's Linda in the red/green dress in the front row, right?

Anonymous said...

Sending good thoughts and prayers for a quick recovery. I hope she rests and takes care of herself, and gets better soon.


Becky Jerdee said...

Thanks for the update!!! We are so grateful to note your upbeat, hopeful words.

Ron said...

I think that would have been me in the red/green dress. I remember it as a jumper. Doris and Mary were about my size and we are all in the front row. Linda