Friday, November 19, 2010

Memories of When We Had The Nation's Capitol Christmas Tree in North Park

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The first day cover from that special time for all of us North Parkers!
 A friend of mine emailed me that the 2010 National Christmas Tree just went through Cheyenne after traveling all around Wyoming.   Many of you will remember way back to 1990 when the Nation's Capitol Christmas Tree came from Walden.  It was our Centennial and it was part of the celebration.

Bob was on the planning committee for this big event.
It was a really big deal with TV and newspapers from all over interviewing everyone.  Everything was a big event.  I think some Forest Service people went out and chose several trees to be flagged 2 or 3 years before it was our turn.  This part was very hush, hush so no one would know where the trees were and activists couldn't chain themselves to the trees when the time came to cut the chosen one!

Nice wood burning on Bob's plaque.
 When they cut the tree down, everyone was invited to attend the ceremonies.  There were speeches and as I recall they had the manufacturer of the chainsaw up there taking pictures for advertising purposes and who knows what else! I actually didn't attend but that was the story.  I think it was a Husquvarna but I'm not sure!

This was on the back of Bob's plaque.
 Traditionally school children from all over the state have been invited to make decorations for the tree and that was the case that year too.  I was not involved with that.  Our school groups, 4-H and local civic groups were invited to participate in a night time parade.  I'm not sure but I think it was the class I sponsored that had a float and I remember we had lumieres on it and it looked real cool!  Other floats had battery operated Christmas lights and I think my FHA or the 4-H or both had them all over their floats.  It was really very lovely and probably the only big night time parade ever held in North Park!
The logo for that year.
 A few days later they pulled the tree (which was all wrapped for shipping) through town with the Budweiser team. Everyone including me was running out into the street every few yards to get pictures and shake hands with the drivers.  They would stop and wait and then move on a few yards.  It was such fun!  A lot of kids who had graduated and were attending college or working somewhere else came up for this event and it was like the rodeo parade only with even more folks attending!

Of course we had to watch the lighting of the tree with all the children's decorations on it; and all the specials about how they placed and decorated the trees in the White House. You see, we didn't send just one tree but all the trees for decorating the White House and I think other Washington DC buildings as well! A delegation from North Park was there for all the festivities and they had a great time.

The funniest part of the whole deal was when my cousin called me from New Jersey and told us if we needed anything to let them know so they could help out!  It turned out that all the national TV and news coverage kept mentioning how poor our town was and how it was one step from bankruptcy!  We had a good chuckle over that even though it turned out to be very close to the truth.

This was how all Christmas cards were stamped that were mailed from Walden that year.
  They sent the tree back here when they were done with it. One of my students who was going for his Eagle Scout badge made wooden benches from it to put around town with a plaque telling the story of the tree.  The National Post Office Service also had a commemorative stamp made and I have a first day cover of it.  Sadly, there won't be any more trees from here, I don't think.  The pine beetles have really killed a majority of the big ones in our county.

Now I need to go see if I can find those pictures I took of the Clydesdales!  And where did I put that first day cover????

Sorry, I couldn't find  my pictures of the Clydesdales.  This all took place before I owned a digital camera and I'm sure the pictures are stored away in some box from one of our moves!  Or maybe Carla has them at her house where she is doing a lot of scrapbooking.  If I come across them I'll have to post them on this blog later.

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