An aging population means no North Fork beach party this year

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I hate to admit it, but the older I get, the less I like change. Thus, I really like both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners at Sondreson Community Hall. Typically, from 80 to 100 people are present for Thanksgiving and about 60 attend Christmas dinner. That was just what happened this year (104 and 62) and it is appropriate. Thanksgiving should be a community event, and on the North Fork it is. Christmas is a more private celebration. For some, it is a solemn religious event, but for more it is a time of giving and receiving from caring friends, neighbors and family.

This year, the Christmas dinner was, as always, a combination of good will, good friends and good food. As a special treat, the Vernon Petty family, enlarged by visiting relatives, led an inspiring rendition of song - Our own North Fork version of the VonTrapp family singers. Traditional Christmas songs were great with all attending joining in. A special treat was “My Friends on Montana’s North Fork” as adapted by Juanita Edge to the familiar tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” There were no lords a dancing, but in addition to my friends on Montana’s North Fork, there were two white tailed deer, three little lynx, four stinking skunks, five snowshoe hares, six moose a munching, seven squirrels scampering, eight grizzlies growling, nine cougars crouching, ten hawks a hovering, eleven wolves a wandering and twelve fishers fighting. A truly enjoyable song that was sung with gusto and talent.

Thanks again to the Petty family.

Even so, there are changes in the holiday schedule. For the first time in many years, there will not be a New Year’s beach party. Somehow time got to us. All of the primary hosts are now in the mid to late seventies or eighties and it was decided to end the party. Instead, Lynn and Bonny Ogle will host a chili feed in Bonny’s spacious (and warm) kitchen.

Plus, there are new social events. Kevin and Kenna Halsey hosted a well-attended curling party at their cabin and, by all accounts, it was great fun. The pots were used as curling stones and I assume they contained ice, but none of the pictures showed the scoring ring, only the antics of the pots being slid on the ice.

The annual snowshoe softball game will held soon and that is great fun also.

You haven’t really lived unless you have seen some North Forkers trying to run on snowshoes. Just think of the North Forkers you know, add snowshoes and winter clothing and sit back and laugh at the sight.

I think it is a game of “work up,” everyone gets to play and there is no score, just laughter led by cheering onlookers. My best wishes to all North Forkers for the holidays and all year round.

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

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