Thursday, December 05, 2002

Hebron Crossroads
By Jeff Gill

Looking back over our shoulders here in Hebron. . .
Last Saturday saw the terrifying sight of Mayor Mason, councilmembers Friend, Gilbert, Halter, and Walters up in aerial buckets and dangling from poles. No, it wasn't after a tense committee meeting; they were hanging the village Christmas decorations along Main and High Streets, with Mike McFarland supervising.
Ours is the kind of town where the elected officials dig right in with both hands and help out, and we're surely the better for it.
It was also the wrap up of David Scheiddegger's Eagle project, and among a number of other generous contributions, a family decided to set aside part of their Thanksgiving afternoon to making up twelve shoeboxes full of helps and gifts to overseas military personnel. When David and Troop 33 picked them up, they also included hand written notes with each one. . .two in crayon.
Our prayers travel with those supplies as the Red Cross routes them to Afghanistan and parts further north where our soldiers and sailors still stand on guard through the Christmas holiday.
And then Sunday night I saw out an upstairs window the braided chain of red and white lights along Interstate 70 as the busiest travel day of the year wound down. How many stories and sorrows and celebrations zoom past us across the fields along that line of asphalt? Hope you and yours got home safely from wherever Thanksgiving took you, and that you gave thanks for just getting home, among other simple gifts!
So, to look ahead: Saturday Dec. 7 is "Christmas in the Country" at Infirmary Mound Park on Rt. 37. The Licking Park District annually hosts this event from 7 to 9 pm with some candlelit and lantern illuminated activities, including choirs singing carols, foodstuffs a'cookin', horse's harnesses jingling, and all manner of outdoor Christmas activities. Come on by and you might even hear some familiar Hebron area voices lifted in song, and you'll be more than welcome to join them.
And Sunday the 8th, if you haven't had your weekend dose of Christmas season music, come to the auditorium at Lakewood High School at 3 pm and hear Mr. Caldwell directing the 6, 7, and 8th grade bands in their winter concert. Next Sunday, same time and place, the high school bands and choirs will perform, and that's an extravaganza not to be missed.
Of course, the Hebron and Jackson Elementary Christmas programs, as well as the Middle School choir concerts are coming up on midweek dates as well, and next week we hope to have time and date info on them.
There's been a bit more feedback on a "Books & Coffee" gathering in Hebron, and I'll point again to the fourth Saturday of January, where we'll gather in the Meeting Room of Hebron Christian Church at 612 W. Main St. at 10 am. I'll make the coffee, and you bring a copy of "Johnny Tremain." The moment I mentioned the title, Jason at Waldenbooks said "that a man can stand up," quoting the key line out of James Otis' mouth from Esther Forbes' 1942 novel. Winner of the Newberry Award, it's known as a "juvenile" in the trade, but really it is simply a short novel with a great message, and this scribbler thinks that, children's novel or not, it has some of the best writing in any book of the twentieth century.
If you think that sounds a bit much, then get a copy from the library, or buy one from Walden's at the mall, and come Jan. 25 to tell me why I'm wrong!
And one last seasonal thought: who's your favorite filmed Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol"? Sim '51 is running ahead of Owen '39, with the Duck a distant third. C'mon you old MGM buffs; I want to hear from the fans of Gene Lockhart as Bob Crachit and his daughter June's first film appearance in the 1939 version.

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church and is collecting info on Christmas Eve services as well as old film reviews. If you have something to add on either, call 928-4066 or e-mail