Reflections: Christmas is music


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist



I can never get enough Christmas music, from the familiar carols, to the mighty “Hallelujah Chorus” to the ‘Pop” songs such as the haunting “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” “White Christmas,” and of course “The Chipmunk Song.” and the list goes on.

Reading through past newspapers music was featured in years past as different groups and churches celebrated Christmas.

The December, 1915, Morrow County Independent describes the “”Christmas Exercises” held at the Cardington School, the “old” Union School. Superintendent Atwell complimented the grades for their “Christmas Exercises. Some of the teachers of the grade school classes are familiar names, such as Carrie Philbrook, Helen Berry later Burggraf, and Josephine Kahnheimer.

Second grade students even gave a demonstration of gymnastics.

Fast forward 40 years, December, 1955 and on the front page of the Morrow County Independent is a beautiful photo of the Nativity scene in the Trinity United Methodist Church, Mount Gilead. There are several stories related to Christmas programs including those at the Cardington School under the direction of Bill Dowler, who directed the choirs and the bands.

Bill was a Marion resident active in the music programs in that city. He later became the band and choir director at Cardington.

Others presenting Christmas programs included the Fulton Nazarene Church and the choir of Cardington’s First Methodist Church, directed by Mrs. Albert Williams. The story went on to name choir members Belva Boone. Ada Maxwell, Lura McNary, Iris Miller, Nancy Ulrey, Lela Ross, Hazel Campbell, Dana Sherman, Aldeane Philbrook, Jean Davis, Dorena Ruehrmund, Bob McNary,

Sam Gantz, Frank Wiley, Paul Maxwell, Wayne Westbrook, Terry Bonnette, Albert Williams and Charles Morris. Mrs. Harry Curl was at the organ.

Music surrounds Christmas like a warm blanket. One of my fondest memories is listening to my late sister, Norita, sing “O Holy Night,” which she sang annually at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church’s Candlelight ceremony.

From my view — Christmas is music and I can listen to it 24 hours a day — but I will rush to shut off any version of “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer!”

Looking back

65 years ago: Christmas mail at the new Cardington post office and the Mount Gilead office exceeded any period in history. Mt Gilead postmaster was C.S. Gladden and Cardington’s postmaster was Paul Fleming.

70 years ago: Willliam C. Johnstone was named Master of the Cardington Masonic Lodge for 1951; Jacob Click was employed as a government worker in Alaska. He was stationed only 200 yards from another Cardington man, Army Private Henry E. Newcomer; Cal Clark sold his Chesterville Avenue home to H. H. Denton.

While he moved to California, Mrs. Clark and son, Don, planned to finish the school year in Cardington. The Cardington Rotary Club conducted a contest for the best Christmas lighting and outdoor decorations in the village. A total of $45 in prizes was awarded to Earl Rollins.

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By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist