By Bill Miller
For the Independent
There was one sector of the economy Friday evening, Dec. 2, that didn’t care a bit about stock quotes, recessions, fog, or bone chilling temperatures.
With the thermometer frozen at about 28 degrees and fog so thick one could barely see across the street, nearly 200 children and their parents gathered in Eagle Point to begin celebrating the city’s centennial Christmas
“We do this every year,” said Lizz Saragoza, “but I’m also always trying to think of something different to do for holiday traditions—things we can remember.”
She said the economy has been rough for her family, but this year seems to be a little better.
“I don’t know,” she said. “I kind of out-of-sight, out-of-mind it; especially this time of the year.”
Saragoza, Nate Howell and children, Zavier (7 ½) and Danika (2), were the first to arrive at the outdoor portion of the celebration. Danika wasn’t sure who Santa was or if she had ever seen him before, but Zavier was ready to ask for an Xbox 360.
Chuck and Susan Lawson said they had missed the last two celebrations, but were glad to be back. “We used to come all the time when the kids were here,” Chuck Lawson said. “But this year we decided it was time and we’d better get down here again.”
While restless children waited a few impatient minutes for the arrival of Santa Claus, retiring Eagle Point City Administrator David Hussell was given the honor of lighting the city Christmas tree in Bob Moore Park.
Within a few minutes, red lights flashing through the fog, a siren’s wail and a few blasts of a horn, sent children rushing to the curb to see St. Nick arrive on a FD#3 fire truck. Like the Pied Piper, Santa led the children in a parade up Main St. and inside a warm Eagle Point Ashpole Community Center.
There, children lined up to meet Santa, have their photograph taken and get a bag of candy. While they waited, they could select a free, stuffed animal of their choice from a long pile of donated furry creatures.
Trevor Schauffler, a 3rd grader at White City Elementary, grabbed a bear holding a heart as a gift for his girlfriend, Trinity Cunningham. Schauffler admitted that Trinity doesn’t know she’s Trevor’s girlfriend yet, but when she reads the Independent that shouldn’t be a problem anymore.
The annual Christmas celebration is sponsored by the Eagle Point Community Association and coordinated by Bunny Lincoln, president of the association and Eagle Point’s principal planner.
Former Mayor Leon Sherman said he was happy so many people decided to come.
“We usually have two or three times this many people,” he said. They come from all over the Upper Rogue. Considering the bad weather, though, this is a great turnout.”
Writer Bill Miller lives in Shady Cove. Reach him at email@example.com.