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The star still shines in the city park, the Lions’ sign and decorations still adorn the park by Highway 89, and Happy Holidays still greet Franklin travelers with a highlighted “ida” in red, even though Christmas during COVID came and went this year. Memories of holidays in 2020 will remain as strangely isolated celebrations and online events. But memories of other years and other celebrations are still vivid to many.

James Kirkbride remembers winters in Dayton as the oldest in a family with three sisters. He said Santa always delivered a lot of gifts, and they enjoyed sleigh riding and ice skating on the Twin Lakes Canal. For other entertainment, he and his friends would slip the toe of their boots into ski straps, hang on to a rope tied to the back of a pickup, and take turns skiing in the barrow pit. “Sometimes we crashed pretty good!” Kirkbride remembers. The New Year was not really celebrated until he and Rebecca were married, then they would go out with friends or kick up their heels at the New Years’ Eve dance in the Lewiston Community Hall.

Marilyn Jorgensen Atkinson grew up in Lewiston with four brothers and four sisters. She recalls that there was more snow back then – two or three feet would cover over the fences. Christmas on the farm still meant that chores had to be done – the boys took care of the pigs and cows, the girls fed the chickens and gathered eggs. “We were always happy to get whatever we got, usually warm clothes, a doll or a book, and Christmas was the only time we saw an orange,” Atkinson remembers. They did sleigh ride and ice skate by Caspers on the Cub River slews. Hard, curled, ribbon candies were a treat, but there was no such thing as “Black Friday!”

Santa does still visit in Franklin as Victoria and Savannah Priestley confirmed. In addition to needed clothes, he can also deal in wireless ear buds and phone cases these days. Ice skating is still popular, but the rink in Logan is in more demand, and sledding is done by Grandpa and Grandma Priestley’s home. The family tradition also involves a dinner, the reading of the first Christmas in Luke, and new pajamas for the kids.



The young men and young women of the Whitney Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were involved in two service projects in December helping the Elks Lodge put together Christmas boxes, as well as putting together packages for the 10 missionaries serving in their ward. The packages included writing notes and testimonies in a Book of Mormon, and candy, and were mailed from the Bishopric. The young men also cleaned up the yard of a man who passed away for his family.



Caden Lindhart was welcomed home by his parents, Mark and Lana Lindhart of Banida who returned from the Atlanta Georgia Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Oct. 15. He spoke in the Winder Ward on Nov. 15. He plans to attend Utah Valley University in Provo.

Jonna and Kent Clemmons were thrilled to have their family who live close by as well as from Colorado for dinner on Christmas day. “I think last year wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been. There were alot of good things that happened in the year 2020, like families were united more. I’m looking forward for a better year in 2021 for good health and lots of travels,” she said.

Cub River


The Cub River Ward had a drive-through Christmas party in their church parking lot on Dec. 19. The Bishopric greeted the members and handed a gift of hamburger, cheese and a copy of the new year’s Come Follow Me manual to them.

Children, teachers and activity leaders in the ward were personally visited by the Primary Presidency, which delivered a Christmas treat and a poem, said Michele Foster, Primary President. “We also have a Primary Facebook Page where we have shared messages, our testimony and songs during this last year,” she said.



Welcome home to Chase Bingham, son of Greg and Marci Bingham, who returned from serving in the Philippines Olongapo Mission and also the Nebraska Omaha Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on Dec. 9. He spoke in church on Dec. 13, and plans to finish his Automative Manufacturing (Robotics) Certificate at Bridgerland.



Condolences to the family of Dallas Gilbert who was born in Fairview and passed away on Dec. 22.

Mink Creek


Jonia Carlson went to Hawaii for the Thanksgiving holiday with her son and his family After spending several weeks in the balmy weather she has returned to Mink Creek to deal with real winter and cold. Already she has been having grandmother get-togethers with the children of Brint and Brittnee Phillips.

Mike and Anna Olson and their three girls drove over from Brigham City to spend some time up Station Creek with Mike’s parents, Jimmie and Anna Beth Olson.

David and Judy Wilde welcomed son Spencer and his wife Paige for a pre-holiday visit. From here Spencer and Paige were flying out to Maryland to spend Christmas with her family. Their plan is to return to Mink Creek for the remainder of the holday break from their studies at BYU/I in Rexburg, ID.

Layne and Karen Erickson and Bob and Claudia Erickson traveled with Gary and Sharen Erickson of Chubbuck, ID, to Farmington, UT. They attended the funeral of their sister, Imogene Erickson Jackson Stine, who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Dec. 19, after a heart attack. Having been a widow for the last 14 years, Emmy leaves behind six children, Valerie, Shirley, Douglas, Allen, Cynthia and Andrea, with numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Mike and Mary Ann Jepsen are often on the road. They took some time to see sons Jonathan, Joe and Jared and their families in the Salt Lake City area. After a few days back in Mink Creek they headed to St. George, UT, for fun in the sun and golf.

These moonlight nights of the holidays are being enjoyed by both man and beast. The coyotes can be heard yowling and yipping, the sounds echoing and bouncing back and forth across the walls of our valley. There is nothing quite like the shine of moonlight on snow covered slopes.



Congratulations to Levi and Jenessa Waldron on the birth of their new baby boy, Leroy. At home to greet his new baby brother is Leander, still a baby himself. Best wishes, Jenessa. You’ve got this!!

Other news from Oxford, Dallas and Candace Peterson’s baby was blessed right after Christmas day and given the name of Finn. He is the 20th grandchild of grandpa and Grandma Randy and Susan Peterson.

Courtesy of COVID-19, our family had a virtual Zoom Christmas party and it was really quite fun. We had fun games and had all of our crew present, except a granddaughter who had to work. Hoping for a ‘together again’ party next year.

This is being written on New Year’s Eve. Today marks 5 years we’ve been in 2020. At least it seems that way. We have survived! I’m ready to say GOODBYE to all the drama and pain of 2020 and HELLO to the Peace, Joy, and Miracles of 2021. Are you ready too? Thank you, readers, for your kind comments to me about this column. My hope for 2021 is more information from fellow Cliftonites and Oxfordites (are those even words?) to put in this column. You know my number!

Knock knock. Who’s there? Abby. Abby who? Abby New Year!!!

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