This Week:
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Christmas in the Desert
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I have to admit that this country is not very Christmassy. We don't usually get a lot of snow. The vegetation is not very Christmassy either. No greenery, no bright red or white berries, just lots of grey-green sagebrush and brown grass. And unfortunately, the abundant juniper trees have a much too pungent aroma to make good Christmas trees. In spite of this, we find ways to bring our own distinctive style to the celebration of Christmas out here in the Oregon high desert. In John Day, the largest town in Grant County, the citizens come out to see the annual Timber Truckers parade. Typically for this part of the world, it's a volunteer and totally non-commercial reflection of our region and its special qualities. In the mid-twentieth century, Grant County produced more timber than any other region of Oregon. We're still a major site for logging and timber production and therefore there are plenty of people who own log trucks around here. So naturally, at Christmas time we decorate the trucks with lights and parade them down Main street. We may not have Times Square or Disneyland, but there aren't many other places where you can see a flatbed trailer carrying a D8 completely covered with Christmas lights. The only other timber trucker parade I have been able to find is in southern Oregon. So if class 8 trucks covered in Christmas lights is your thing, you will just have to come to Oregon. In the much smaller community of Dayville, we held a Christmas celebration to mark the lighting of the town tree and to recognize the decorative efforts of our local citizens. In the spirit of the season, the celebration offered hot chocolate with whipped cream (or marshmallows) and a pretty good assortment of home baked Christmas goodies. Dayville did not have a parade but someone did manage to do an imaginative job of lighting up our retired fire engine for the holiday season. No holly, no ivy, not much snow but we still find ways to celebrate the season appropriately. In that spirit, the Grant County Gazette extends to each and every one of you our wishes for a Happy Holiday and a prosperous New Year.