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Monday, January 7, 2008
Reminicing The Vaughn Heritage 6
Looking Towards Heaven (Pictured above is a well-loved man, named Dad and Grandpa.)
**Note** This is the last of 6 articles that were written by my maternal Grandfather, Alfred Tennyson Vaughn before his death July 25, 1999. I didn't know they existed, until I did some family searching on the net and they came up. They were published in 2000 after his death. Needless to say, since I didn't know these were out there, I was in tears when I saw them. They are a cherished gift from Grandpa, who was a wonderful writer and poet! We love and miss you Grandpa!
The Vaughn Heritage
Alfred Tennyson Vaughn
Editor's note: This week, in the sixth and final installment of The Vaughn Heritage, we read about holiday celebrations and of the churches in the Entiat Valley.
Holidays and Entiat Valley Churches
The usual holidays were celebrated to the extent of their perceived importance.
The school children, and parents, looked forward to and planned for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
The entire community met at the school for the games at Halloween. Some singing and stories of the Halloween tradition were shared.
Thanksgiving was complete with a play, songs and recitations.
But, Christmas always drew a full house.
Plays were rehearsed for weeks. Decorations were made to go around the classroom and on the Christmas tree. Long chains made of loops of colored paper, and of pine needles were hung across the windows. Candles mounted on metal cups were clipped to branches of the tree.
An angel or a large star nearly always adorned the top of the tree.
The blackboards were filled with Christmas scenes drawn by the pupils.
Old Saint Nick and Dickens' Christmas Carol were favorites recited by one of the upper grades. Christmas songs, old and new, were sung by classes or groups which could carry a tune.
The birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington were always observed.
While swimming, fishing, camping and hunting filled our summer and fall recreational activities and skating and sledding helped us pass the winter through, there were community activities, large and small, where we joined in sharing our interests and talents.
There were three traditional churches in the Entiat Valley besides small groups who worshipped in homes and schools.
The Vaughn family had been with the Christian Church since the 1800s, probably because Father's grandfather, George Hand, had been a minister and missionary to the West from his early years with Alexander Campbell.
Earlier generations had been Methodists.
The Entiat Christian Church was pioneered by William Cannon, Sr., around 1900.
My father was a deacon and then an elder in the church until moving to Wenatchee in 1940. Our family seldom missed a Sunday at the white church on the hill by the graveyard.
I remember going with them in the buggy or wagon, depending on how many went. In winter we used sled runners on the buggy or took the large sled.
If it was very cold, hay filled the bottom of the sled on which we laid blankets, and we had a coal-fired foot warmer for our feet. A few times the drawer with the hot coals would open and ignite the hay. Then we had a hot time getting the fire out.
There was a Presbyterian and a Friends Church in town. Many sermons in those days were on eternal punishment, the Judgment, and on why we did not go to the other churches. The positive benefits of Christianity became better known later on in the 1930s when we got to know other Christians better.
Living on a farm so far from city life had its advantages-- and disadvantages.
With seven boys and two girls, our family always had enough hands to share in the work. Since the older ones got jobs away from home as soon as they were old enough, the younger hands were trained as soon as they were big enough to do the work.
Washing dishes and helping with the laundry, we soon learned, was not just for girls. And, conversely, the girls at times were called on to help with the milking and putting hay in the barn. Sometimes we helped our neighbors get their hay in before a storm, and they would help us with ours.
When it was time to harvest the apples, everyone went to work from the picking to the packing. Extra help getting the apples off also added to the number of people that Mother cooked for.
She always fed them well.