Holiday cheer up the North Fork

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I know. I said I was going to find an old fish story for this week. Even found a dandy black and white photo to go with it. Must have forgotten it was Christmas and there is always plenty to write about during the holidays. Anyway, I’ll save the old fish story for the dull times later in the winter.

As usual, all North Forkers enjoyed another great feast at Sondreson Hall hosted by Jan and Alice Caldwell. As usual, they had a lot of help from friends and neighbors. The parking lot was plowed, thanks to Flathead County, the tables were festive with candles and greenery and the hall glittered with Christmas lights, of course there was also a well decorated Christmas tree and the hall was warmed by the double barrel wood stove that was lit and fed with wood hours ahead of the party.

By my count 68 people sat down to a tremendous meal, which featured turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy provided by the hosts and friends. Then there were dozens of side dishes and desserts. As usual there were leftovers and almost everyone over ate.

Finally Ray Hart easily the best-dressed attendee consented to be the first in line. Earlier attempts, most recently at Thanksgiving, Ray politely refused to be first. I’m glad he agreed this time and suspect his son, Morgan, was instrumental in changing his mind.

After dinner, an expanding choir led the crowd in singing Christmas carols. This is a relatively new North Fork tradition and a great one that is more enjoyable each year as more and more folks set aside their inhibitions and take part. I credit John and Joyce O’Hare, the Pettey family and Lois Walker for this resurgence of joyful voices. Also to be credited are others who have joined in.

The Christmas party is just the start of the holiday celebrations. Next week the Hart family will host a celebration New Years Eve at Sondreson Hall to welcome in the New Year. This event will feature dancing after dinner. Debo Powers has been hosting dance lessons at Sondreson Hall for the last several weeks so I expect there will be a lot of foot stomping fun featuring a host of steps and moves.

Finally, Trail Creekers will old their annual beach party on New Years Day. Folks will gather at Ogles at noon so that folks needing a ride can be ferried to the river on snowmobiles. This party, held no matter what the weather, features mimosas, other liquid refreshments, hot dogs and beans and two big campfires, was begun by the Hoilands as a family event and has expanded since.

There will also be chili and hot drinks in Bonny Ogles kitchen afterward.

Happy Holidays and my best wishes to everyone for all year round.

Larry Wilson’s North For Views appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

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