Thursday, January 14, 2010

More Memories of the Christmas Program

[Lois (Meyer) Voeltz provided the following memories and photographs.]

I [Lois] thoroughly enjoyed the memories of the St. John Christmas programs and finally, this week, found some pictures of the kindergarten angels that did have wings -- my class, 1952-53 and Alan's class, 1954-55. I remember the kindergarten made a 'curtain' with the Mary & Joseph moving in behind the angels. Arms were linked and then opened up.

Kindergarten Angels at St John School in Seward, Nebraska, in 1954
Flickr page

Kindergarten Angels at St John School in Seward, Nebraska, in 1952
Flickr page
[The Flickr pages show larger sizes of the images.]

Also, I do remember practicing on that one day in the Seward High gym -- long and a bit "boring" -- don't like using that word but it was so repetitious. And we all know Luke 2 in the King James Version, I'm sure! I loved singing "From Heaven Above to Earth I Come", all 70 zillion verses, ending with "Ah dearest Jesus holy child...."

Lower grades wore white gowns with big red bows. Upper grades wore black undergown and white overgown. A big deal to have grown to Mr. Schmeiding's upper grades.

When in 8th grade, Larry Peterson brought cinammon sticks for all of us to enjoy. (Mike S, so appreciated your story about our cousin, John Garmatz, and how he 'introduced' cinammon sticks. I remember getting the vial of cimammon at Brockhoff Drug Store. We loved it!!)

I can smell the brown paper bags and see the big orange and apple and hard candy that was passed out to each of us as we recessed. And hurrying home to open presents.

I was saddened when St John decided to forego the traditional (as we knew it!) Christmas Eve service ritual but also appreciated the creative services that followed the traditional 'recitations and singing.'

Jody, I, too am thankful to have learned to sing in 4 part harmony in 5th grade. I also sing the 'parts' I know from the ones Mr. Schmeiding wrote. "Guide Me Oh Thou Great Jehovah" and "Rock of Ages". We are the folks that Garrison Kiellor talks/writes about -- that know HOW to sing 4 part harmony, without music! A gift of training that we didn't realize was happening.

[Lois provided some other old, non-Christmas photographs that I will upload in the next couple of days.]

Tobin Beck sent these remarks:

Your notes bring back a lot of memories.

When the three of us kids were little Mom started the tradition of Jesus birthday cake on Christmas Eve. We’d go to the children’s service at the Seward High gym and then come home. Dad would read the Christmas story, we’d open presents, and then we’d go into the kitchen to sing happy birthday and have Jesus birthday cake before going to bed.

Mom and Dad took a lot of photos and slides at Christmas, which helps with the memories.

This week’s blizzard (we got about 14 inches of snow, with winds of 30-45 mph) reminded me too of some of the big winter storms we had on Faculty Lane, how we’d make snow forts in some of the big drifts – and how we’d sled down the hill by Sylwester’s house. When Kevin, Tedi and I were little Dad would take us one at a time and sit behind us on the sled as we went down the hill.

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