The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current, December 18, 2003, Page Page 3, Image 3

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    The INDEPENDENT, December 18, 2003
Page 3
Yes, Virginia, there
is a Santa Claus
(from the Editorial Page of The
New York Sun, written by Fran-
cis P. Church, September 21,
To the Editor:
I am 8 years old. Some of
my little friends say there is no
Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you
see it in The Sun, it’s so.”
Please tell me the truth, is there
a Santa Claus?
Virginia O’Hanlon
New York
Virginia, your little friends
are wrong. They have been af-
fected by the scepticism of a
sceptical age. They do not be-
lieve except they see. They
think that nothing can be which
is not comprehensible by their
little minds. All minds, Virginia,
whether they be men’s or chil-
dren’s are little. In this great
universe of ours man is a mere
insect, an ant, in his intellect, as
compared with the boundless
world about him, as measured
by the intelligence capable of
grasping the whole of truth and
Yes, Virginia, there is a San-
ta Claus. He exists as certainly
as love and generosity and de-
votion exist, and you know that
they abound and give to your
life its highest beauty and joy.
Alas! how dreary would be the
world if there were no Santa
Claus! It would be as dreary as
if there were no Virginias.
There would be no child-like
faith then, no poetry, no ro-
mance to make tolerable this
existence. We should have no
enjoyment, except in sense
and sight. The eternal light with
which childhood fills the world
would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus!
You might as well not believe in
fairies! You might get your papa
to hire men to watch in all the
chimneys on Christmas eve to
catch Santa Claus, but even if
you did not see Santa Claus
coming down, what would that
prove? Nobody sees Santa
Claus, but that is no sign that
there is no Santa Claus. The
most real things in the world
are those that neither children
nor men can see. Did you ever
see fairies dancing on the
lawn? Of course not, but that’s
no proof that they are not there.
Nobody can conceive or imag-
ine all the wonders there are
unseen and unseeable in the
You tear apart the baby’s rat-
tle and see what makes the
noise inside, but there is a veil
Between the Bookends
By Nancy Burch, Librarian
Vernonia Public Library
This is such a very spe-
cial season and each year
as it approaches I find my-
self wanting to express just
the “right” message to
readers of this column. It
would seem that with all of
the written material in the li-
brary from fictional short
stories, magazines, chil-
dren’s books, poems, and inspirational mes-
sages, the “right” words would appear. In previ-
ous years I’ve written about the meaning of holi-
day traditions and legends, included a special
poem, or favorite part of a book. This year I
picked up a little book entitled, The Joy of Christ-
mas. This is an older book with beautiful colored
pictures accompanied by writings (poems, words
from songs, etc.). Several pages have pictures
of candles that brought to mind memories of my
mother—a very dedicated elementary school
teacher. She also was quite talented artistically
and after retiring from teaching volunteered
weekly in a fourth grade classroom where she
taught watercolors to the students. Each De-
cember for as long as I can remember, the proj-
ect was a wonderful picture of three candles.
Each student handwrote a poem about candles
and their meaning and the end result was a gift
for the parents. Even though the sample and the
stages of painting were always the same, each
finished picture was beautiful and unique, re-
flecting the differences of each child. I especially
remember these paintings because my job each
year was to lightly make the measured lines in
which the poem was written. (That’s exactly how
artistic I was.) I do not have a copy of that poem
but pictures of Christmas candles always make
me remember those days—my mother’s dedica-
tion and the pleasure she received while giving
to these students and their families. So, I guess
this year I would just like to wish that each of you
may give that you may receive—in whatever
way your lifestyle or belief leads and also to re-
member that the differences of each individual
have the potential for making beautiful, unique
impressions in this world.
Thanks to The St. Helens Bookshop, a variety
of materials are available in the library for pur-
chase (adoption) as holiday gifts for the library.
The prices are visible by each item and reflect 20
percent savings over retail prices.
The Friends of the Library spent this past Sat-
urday at Barnes & Noble, wrapping gift books as
a fundraiser. Barnes & Noble offers this activity
to nonprofit organizations throughout the holiday
season. They provide the supplies and the or-
ganization just provides a donation container for
shoppers to make donations if they so wish.
This is a great fundraiser and it’s fun. The next
meeting of The Friends will be Tuesday, January
6, 2004, in the library at 7:00 p.m. The beginning
of the year is the time to renew memberships in
this organization and new members are always
The best book that I’ve recently read is The
Keeper’s Son by Homer Hickam. This historical
novel is based on German submarine attacks on
the Eastern coast of the United States during
World War II. It fictionalizes an island called Kil-
lakeet and its citizens who are targeted for de-
struction by one of the submarines and defend-
ed only by one ill-equipped Coast Guard boat
and crew. This novel combines humor, romance
and suspense and the author has promised that
this is the first in a series. Be watching for the
next one by Homer Hickam, who is the author of
Rocket Boys, from which the movie October Sky
was made.
Happy Holidays to each of you!
Vernonia Public Library: 701 Weed Ave.
Hours: Mon., Wed., Fri. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.;
Tues., Thur. 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Sat. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Preschool Story Time: Mondays, 10:00
a.m., when school is in session.
Phone: (503 ) 429-1818
covering the unseen world
which not the strongest man,
nor even the united strength of
all the strongest men that ever
lived, could tear apart. Only
faith, fancy, poetry, love, ro-
mance, can push aside that
curtain and view and picture
the supernal beauty and glory
beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Vir-
ginia, in all this world there is
nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God!
he lives, and he lives forever. A
thousand years from now, Vir-
ginia, nay, ten times ten thou-
sand years from now, he will
continue to make glad the heart
of childhood.
Thankful for all who
make lives better
To the Editor:
The holiday season gives all
of us an opportunity to send
greetings and best wishes to
family and friends. It also offers
us time to reflect on the sacri-
fices made and the losses en-
dured by our fellow countrymen
as they work to bring about
peace in the world. We have
much to be thankful for, particu-
larly the opportunity to live in
freedom as Americans and to
live in a violence free environ-
ment. Each day, I appreciate
more and more our peacekeep-
ers, and advocates whose dili-
gence and dedication have
made it possible for all of us to
continue to enjoy that freedom
and peace.
As you celebrate your own
holiday traditions, please take a
moment to reflect on the contri-
butions our community has
made in supporting the cause
of human freedom. With your
extraordinary support, our net-
work of services for victims and
survivors of domestic violence,
sexual assault, and for persons
facing other crises has provid-
ed a deepened appreciation
and understanding of the cul-
tures we live in, embraced the
differences of our neighbors,
and developed the qualities
necessary to be caring and re-
sponsible citizens in a violence
free environment.
Many agencies have played
a major role in our accomplish-
ments in educating the commu-
nity about Domestic Violence
and Sexual Assault issues in
Columbia County, and I am
deeply grateful to all of you who
have made the progress of our
mission possible by strengthen-
ing services to victims of Do-
mestic Violence and Sexual As-
sault. In this spirit, I want to say
thank you and best wishes for
the holiday season.
Vickie J. Hagan
Executive Director
Columbia County
Women’s Resource Center
Newcomer is glad to
make Vernonia home
To the Editor:
I would like to say, “Thank
you” to the folks from Vernonia
and surrounding area who
made the scenic Coast Range
trek to Farmwoman’s Nursery
for the Christmas in the Coun-
try Bazaar antique and craft
show, November 21-23, also to
Mrs. Poetter and her hard-
working staff, Ron, Shawn and
Tracy for the fantastic job they
did in putting together a fun
event. The fragrance of fresh
wreaths, and homemade pas-
tries were too much to resist, as
was the nice selection of items
for sale.
Although new to Vernonia, I
was made to feel right at home
by everyone I met. My family
and I are glad to be home in
Paula Hanson
Kindness made her
Christmas complete
To the Editor:
I would like to thank the
woman who turned my money
order in at the Post Office. I
was frantic because it was a
Christmas gift for my grandchil-
I can’t begin to tell you how
grateful I am. It made my
Christmas complete.
Thank you and warm wishes.
Debra Curtis
Group benefits from
generous donation
To the Editor:
The Vernonia Columbia
Community Mental Health staff
thanks Randy Parrow of Sentry
Market who generously donat-
ed a turkey to our Clean and
Sober November get together.
These functions are an im-
portant benefit to this communi-
ty and we appreciate it very
much. We had a great time.
CCMH Staff