The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on December 22, 1976 · Page 14
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 14

Hays, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, December 22, 1976
Page 14
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Caught On In Victoria VICTORIA — Victoria may not have the largest display of Christmas lighting, nor was It the first to • introduce neighborhood cooperation to the seasonal decorating. But residents here are inclined to believe, given the : size of their town, their lights are the best anywhere. • Christmas decorating long has been a tradition among the predominately German townspeople. It was almost a ritual, definitely something to look forward to in the ' weeks just before Christmas. the efforts to decorate varied, as did the effect once the lights were installed and plugged in. Some people literally decked the halls, others chose more subdued displays of Chrltmas spirit. It wou'd also be safe to say that some displays got a little out of hand, nearly to the point of rococo. Then about four years ago, certain homeowners erected lighted figures such as snowmen or bells, in their yards. The figures were simple, they were seasonal, they, were easily enjoyed. And they caught on fast. Soon more and more of the figures were placed in yards around town and the demand for even mqre was growing. Then someone got the idea that it would be nice to have each street decide on a specific figure to adorn the block every year. Neighbors got together and made their selections so that each street had a different theme. Who started this new "tradition," is uncertain — it just sort of snowballed. Several local men, like Marvin Hammersmith and Frank Windholz, started building the figures, first for themselves, then for friends. Some of the figures were sold or traded for hoHday goodies like fruitcake. Others were given away'in a proper Christmas spirit. But, somehow, if you wanted : one, whether it/be a wreath or a sleigh-with-relndeer, , you could get one. ' . . ;' "Clean might be the best way to describe the lights, along Victoria's residential streets. The figures, each like the one in the next yard yet each just a shade individual, lend a feeling of closeness, of * togetherness, to the community. ' Homeowners are free to display no lights at all, but participation has climbed as steadily as electric rates. - They're also free to st,ring more lights than just those on '.. their figure — happily, though, most do not. • Vandalism is always a concern in Victoria, but never : an overriding one. A rash of broken bulbs can usually be : counted on during the first week of the lights, but it '. subsides. - The residents, though perturbed by the broken bulbs, " for the most part feel that punishment of pranksters - wouldn't be in the spirit of the holiday. Most tinies, the " shame of coming face-to-face with the lady down the ; street whose lights were pulled down is enough for any ; young vandal. : Just in case, however, there is a $100 fine for 'Hie Nor'Wester SFlTION SK( ' IUN J> MARTIN December 22, 1976 Tasty Village To Be The Last Star-struck Jefferson Street In east Victoria. ^ro^pepperminl and chpcp/flte. I RUSSELL — Hansel and Gretel would have nothing to fear from Mrs, Joyce Branbury. True, Mrs. Branbury is hoping lo lure children to her delectably edible hosue, but she's certainly no witch with roast kiddie on the menu. For the last 17 years, Mrs), nrniibiiry has made fantasy houses from candy frosting. Tills year, she has an entire candy village complete with n replica of the White House. The 17-yenr-old tradition started innocently enough. Mrs. Branbury said she first made a marshmallow castle and Switched to candy frosting a few years later. "It was something I'd seen in a magazine," she snicl, hinting that frosting had more appeal with her children than the marshmallow did. "After Christmas the kids would break (the cnndy houses) up and cat the pieces." Thai first year, Mrs. Branbury made four buildings. This year, which she claims will be her last, she has about 30, all laid out on the Branbury's dining room table. "I really started doing It for the fantasy," she said. "This Is one time of the year when we can just fantasize, the rest of the time we're trying so hard to be realists." Most of the buildings depicted in Mrs. Branbury's "village" have some meaning or connection to the family. For example, the red "brick" school house is a copy of one near Russell. The train depot is a replica of the one in Disney Land. Mrs. Branbury spent three steady weeks of toil in preparing' her village ..this year. That's three 18-hours-a- day weeks, not just occasional activity. She turns over any idea she has for a new linlldliitf to hoi- husband. He draws th«> blueprints, leaving her the sometimes tricky, and always drill-ate, task of frosting them together. The White House replica was included for the Bicentennial. The most Intricate piece is a Victorian homo that stands about three foci high all made of candy frosting. Mrs. Branbury says she is retiring from the tradition after this year. "For the last four years, .we've had the village on display in Russell," she said. "1 probably wouldn't mind (making it again), but it would haw to be in someone else's house. I'd kind of like to hnvo my dining room buck again." Another factor is the lack of little Branburys to marvel at the glistening creations in candy. Mrs. Branbury said she wus waiting for grandchildren before considering the project again. "Like Frank Sinatra, though, I reserve tlic right to come out of retirement," she • said. Dog Saves Family WALDO -- A barking don saved the Charles Shaffer family from further tragedy this week. The Shaffers were awakened by their dog, who was pulling up quite a yap in the yard. And for good reason, loo. Tire Shaffer's house was on fire, ignited by sparks from Ihe chimney. The blaze was dosed by . • Waldo-Paradise rUral fire 1 fighters. Damage ' was eslimaled lo be $2,500. There were no injuries, lhanks lo Ihc i i ALCO WILL CLOSE FRIDAY. DEC. 24th AT 6:00 P.M. PLEASE BE SURE TO PICK UP YOUR LAY-AWAYS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE BEFORE THIS DATE. JUST CALL AHEAD AND WE'LL HAVE YOUR PACKAGES WAITING FOR YOU AT THE SERVICE DESK. DIAL 628-1095. THANK YOU...AND MERRY CHRISTMAS! THE ALCO MANAGEMENT 'his Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out forgotten a friend. Dismiss suspicion, replace it with trust. Write a love letter. .Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Encourge youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Find the time. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize if you were wrong. Try to understand. Flout envy. Examine your demands of others. Think first of someone else. Appreciate. Be kind; be gentle. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more. Deserve confidence. Take up arms against malice. Express your gratitude. Go to church. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love. Speak it again. Speak it still once again. hristmas is celebration, and there is no celebration that compares with the i realization of its true meaning-with the sudden stirring of the heart that has extended itself toward the core of life. Then, only then, is it possible to grasp the significance of that first Christmas - to savor in the inward ear the wild, sweet music of the angel choir; to envision the star- struck sky, and glimpse, behind the eyelids, the ray of light that fell across a darkened path and changed the world. m iincere wi&n for a nappy notiaau fro pour friend* at . . • Central Kansas Power Company, Inc. CKP CENTRAL KANSAS POWER COMPANY. INC. your Investor owned, toxpoylng public utility.

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