LeNora Conkle Recalled Homemade Christmas Ornaments

  First Christmas At The Nabesna Mine  Mines at the end of the Nabesna Road. (Photo, NPS)  As Told By LeNora Conkle, Nabesna Christmas, 1996...

 
First Christmas At The Nabesna Mine 

Mines at the end of the Nabesna Road. (Photo, NPS) 


As Told By LeNora Conkle, Nabesna
Christmas, 1996 

The first Christmas I spent out there we got snowed in; that was at the end of the Nabesna Road. We had a cabin up there, where the Ellis' live now. So we had gone up there with the dog team. The road wasn't open at that time. The old timer – Harry Boyden – he was caretaker of the Nabesna Mine. He lived there in that big house. And we had an awfully nice cabin, close to his. He had a dog team, too. He would go to Slana for the mail, 40 miles.

I had nothing up there for a Christmas tree. We went out and cut us a pretty little tree. All of us smoked at that time. I would take the foil off the cigarette packages, and I made all kinds of little tree decorations. Boyden came over, and he put three little packages on the tree. One for Bud, one for LeNora, and one addressed to himself. He was going to play Santa Claus. So I fixed him a beard, and little odds and ends of this and that.

We waited and waited for him to come over Christmas morning. He didn't come. Finally, at one o'clock in the afternoon I had dinner ready – we had ptarmigan – and Bud went over to see where he was. He had melted snow for a bath. (He couldn't come to dinner without having a bath.) He had all that water. So then he had to wash all his underwear in the bathwater – there's no use throwing it all out after he had his bath; it was all clean. Then, after he got his clothes all washed, he had to mop the floor!

It was December, 1950. It was quite a Christmas...

--December, 1996, as told to the Copper River Country Journal 

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