White Christmas?

A Lakewood Log holiday ad and editorial—December 11, 1942 (Lakewood Log loaned by Milt Davidson, Steilacoom):

By Charles Mann

Ad for Christmas items at Rederich’s 10 Cent Store, 5427 S. Tacoma Way

Paint books, story books, crayon books: 10 and 15 cents
Large assortment of paper dolls, 29 cents
Baby dolls—in wicker chairs, bassinettes, or high chairs: $1.49
Famous Houseman dolls: lifelike—from $2.79 to $3.59
Tree trimmings:
One dozen glass ornaments: 30, 40 cents
Chenille wreaths: 39, 49 cents
Tinted pinecones: 20 cents

White Christmas???

Don’t be silly! It will keep on raining and getting warmer and warmer, and roses will bloom instead.

Poor old Santa Claus finds this goofy old globe all shot to pieces, with practically every loving and generous human impulse stymied by utter lack of anything practical or fancy to buy in the Marts of Trade.

So, why not a new mop handle for Mother? A nice box of six corncob pipes for Father? Five pair of cheap cotton sox for Junior, and a new Trifle for the Deb. Daughter? Or a nice glass jar of toothpaste, with a drab canned Cherry-sized top?—tubes are out of style, you know

Our eccentric neighbor on Mud Lake is buying his missus a 100-pound bag of Navy beans in memory of Pearl Harbor, and his family will enjoy endless activity for several weeks after Christmas…

There is one serious item about Christmas that won’t seem right. Lakewood’s traditional Christmas Eve celebration has been called off. Mrs. Hormel and her staff (at the Lakewood Terrace Restaurant) cannot operate with one-third of the necessary help and two pounds of butter per day. The Terrace will operate ‘til New Year’s Day and then close for a long period, a month or more while things get on a more even keel.

This Winter into which we have slipped rapidly and fatalistically is, after all, more on the be-deviled, Rationed, Regulated and Squeezed Civilian American than for the millions of fighting men on the Front.

Americans won’t cry. They’ll keep on laughing if they feel their life, sacrifices and energies go for a purposeful, directed and vital and useful fight with a noble vitality as the end product.

So like Virginia wrote in these columns last Christmas, again we say, “Don’t do a Christmas Blackout.”

Happiness doesn’t cost a dime, you know.

Around the Sound: Steilacoom’s ‘All Comers Concert’ set for Sunday

During December, Steilacoom’s Town Hall, long-time locale for numerous dances, council meetings, anniversaries, and more, has also been the setting for several holiday events.

Such as the one planned for 6 p.m. on Dec. 14—the 7th annual “All Comers Concert.” Since its 2008 inaugural year, Steilacoomites of all ages have joined in this community celebration that includes local musicians, singers, scouting groups; even a guest appearance from Santa.

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Around the Sound: Tree lighting time in Steilacoom


A six-year-old Cherrydale Primary School student got an unexpected birthday surprise on Dec. 4.

Well, actually, the surprise went to her older brother, who learned that day, on his sister’s birthday that he’d been chosen to “light” the tree on Friday night. “I’m happy to be picked,” grinned eight-year-old Maximus Molina, posing with Clifford the Dog and his sister in the school library earlier that day. “It’s pretty neat to get to turn on the tree lights,” he added. “I’ve never done it before.”

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Christmas at the ranch

Late one December afternoon about 40 years ago, we achieved our goal! We’d created Paradise in the front room of our central Washington ranch house. Not that we were actually ranchers. Far from it. We were simply newcomers to the rodeo-town community who’d purchased a ranch house on the northern edge of town.

Four months after we’d arrived in the prairie community we embarked on a trip to the National Forest to harvest a Christmas tree…the first one that hadn’t been bought from a commercial tree lot. Over the years we’d inaugurated the custom of purchasing the tree from a corner grocery store lot. But that winter we trekked to the mountains to harvest a tree.

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Civil War historian signs books following talk



Photo by Nancy Covert

Historian Alan Archambault signs a copy of books about military uniforms during the Civil War. Archambault spoke on Sunday at Historic Ft. Steilacoom about the evolution of those uniforms for both the Union and the Confederacy.


Orr Home Christmas

A Child’s Vision of Christmas…

“…turn backward, oh Time in your flight
Make me a child again, just for tonight…”

What does a child want for Christmas? Most likely the list for 21st century kids includes electronics, computers, Mutant Ninja turtles, Transformers, maybe even dolls…you know. Just not new clothes! But, back “in the day” kids asked the “jolly saint” for dolls and doll carriages, followed by hobbyhorses, trains, sleds, skates, jacks, balls, and checkers.

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Around the Sound: Idlewild teacher surprised

How would you react if a group of media types knocked at your door, bearing boxes, bags and other items?

Likely you’d respond the same way as Carmelina Luna! She was pleasantly surprised when Connie McKenzie, the Afternoon Show Host from STAR 101.5, along with the 2014 Washington Dairy Farmers Ambassador and others arrived at her First Grade classroom on Nov. 6, at Idlewild Elementary School. They’d come to honor Mrs. Luna as The Elementary Teacher of the Week. This recognition, the latest of yearly honors to be awarded by the Seattle Radio Station, has been presented around the region for the past 20 years, according to a STAR 101.5 spokesperson.

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Around the Sound: Scouting for food

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Scout Master Andy Estep of Steilacoom’s Boy Scout Troop 71 and his assistant scout masters oversaw the 2014 annual Scouting for Food project in the Town. Estep and local scouts distributed 1,800 bags on Oct. 25 and on Nov. 1 collected local donations from nine areas around the community. The Steilacoom Food Pantry, with Sharon Cornett as coordinator, is housed in the basement of Oberlin Church on Rainier Street. Folks in need of food should contact the Community Center at 581-1076 for details.