The Christmas Pageant debuted in Cave Creek in 1952. Dwight Eisenhower was president, a gallon of gas was 20 cents, the dirt road between Phoenix and Cave Creek had just been transformed into a paved two-laner and the town population was barely 500 hearty souls.
That was 60 years ago.
The tradition continues with this year’s Pageant scheduled for December 1 and 2 at 7 p.m. in the Spur Cross Conservation Area. Let the lumanaria lead the way. You can’t miss it.
The inaugural Pageant was sponsored by the 4-H Club. The staging area was tucked into the north side of Black Mountain, among giant, granite boulders. Several sponsors have come and gone through the years – it is now sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Carefree - and the location has changed to Spur Cross.
But one thing remains constant: the Pageant takes place because of collaborative efforts.
“The Pageant happens because of many volunteers from local communities,” said Toby Payne, a longtime supporter/organizer of the event.
There’s a narrator, actors and live animals, such as horses, sheep and a donkey, occasionally stubborn but always cute. There’s Mary, Joseph and the Infant Jesus, also a choir, shepherds, the three Kings and an angel. All of this is wrapped into staging, sound and lighting.
Area residents perform in the choir, such as Cave Creek’s Planning Director Ian Cordwell, who plays one of the three wise men. The natural setting is integral to the Pageant’s story retelling. The Sonoran Desert equates in feel and surroundings to Bethlehem’s environment in which Christ was born. The Pageant’s locale is reminiscent of the humbleness of Christ’s accommodations over 2,000 years ago.
Respectful of all spiritual beliefs the Pageant inspires: The desert’s nighttime silence carries a message of joy. The singers’ voices pacify the heart. The re-enacted birth of the Christ child renews hope for a gentler world.
The Pageant reminds us that these “tidings of joy” are worth sharing.
Mayor Vincent Francia
Note: The Cave Creek Museum has the complete 60-year archive of the Pageant
Do you love the Sonoran Desert? Then help us educate others!
Have you heard about the Desert Reach program the Desert Awareness Committee has been presenting in the local schools for the past nine years? What another fabulous year we are planning, sharing the uniqueness of the Sonoran Desert with fourth graders. In 2013 we will teach 20 different classes in 5 schools which means we reach over 400 students each year to promote understanding of our beloved Sonoran Desert.
Participating schools are already requesting dates for January through March and new schools are waiting in the wings. As we see this program expanding again, we realize that the teams of “Reachers” we have already trained will not be able to keep up with the increasing demand.
We ask that you consider becoming a ‘Reacher’ with us. The program runs from mid-January through March. Our goal is to have three teams of three ‘Reachers’ in place so that each team would be responsible for three separate weeks of programs. We usually present two separate programs at the same school one day each week. This adds up to a total of 8-10 days covering as many weeks.
While the formal training necessary to become a Desert Reach ‘Reacher’ takes place in early January, we have “on the job” training during every program. As a ‘Reacher’ you will always be part of a two or three person team! It is exciting, fun and so gratifying to know you are sharing your love and knowledge of the Sonoran Desert with the next generation! Won’t you consider becoming a ‘Reacher’?
The mission of the Desert Awareness Committee of the Desert Foothills is to provide education about preserving and understanding the Sonoran Desert with those who are a part of it. This program provides our organization with an exciting method to do just that! Let us hear from you today so that the continuation of the Desert Reach program is guaranteed. Phone or email one of us with any questions you might have. We look forward to hearing from you!
The Desert Awareness Committee
Fran Wylie, coordinator;
Diane A. Vaszily, instructor;
“My View” editorial of November 7
Dear Mr. Sorchych:
Just wanted to say thank you for the editorial and the kind words about Hidden In The Hills. I don't know anything about Magic Bird and the Recklins but they are not the only ones trying to piggyback off the success of HITH. I was told there are several events on one or both of the weekends that HITH occurs.
I must agree that having someone spit directly in your face is a most vile act and tells you all you need to know about a person who would do such a thing.
Just to clarify, the Sonoran Arts League is still headquartered in Cave Creek (not Carefree) at 6051 E. Hidden Valley Dr., Suite 3. Directories and maps for HITH can be picked up at that location and at most of the HITH studios.
Terms of Endearment
There is blessed silence tonight. The political ads, the vitriol, finger-pointing and lies are absent from the airways. The signs will come down eventually. My blood pressure may not.
After four years Barry Obama has kept one promise, change; he has changed us. Our perspective has changed. We view things differently, the media, political discourse, leadership and our beloved, fragile freedoms. Some are viewed now with a jaundiced eye, some with renewed adoration and hope. The greatest nation on earth brought to the threshold of extinction by one man, smooth, educated and destructive by intent. The American electorate looked into the abyss and choose to take the leap. On November 6 a heavy dose of electoral antiperspirant was applied, not heavy enough – the stench of B.O. remains.
The final result brings to mind Sir Alex Fraser Tytler who prophetically said, in about 1800, "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess of the public treasury."
Have we now reached that tipping point? States are petitioning for cecession from the union with the same issues in contention, states rights and slavery; not yet physical slavery, but financial slavery. As much as he may believe it Obama is no Lincoln. We await Fort Sumter. Eight years with this man will prove to be anything but terms of endearment.
Did Carefree elect a "Napolean?”
At the November 13 Carefree Town Council meeting our mayor told the council "He made the decisions." The statement was made in reply to a councilman's question as to the First Reading of a code change to allow "A Frame" signs permanently in Carefree. The councilman asked if this matter had the blessing of the P and Z Committee, whose job it is to monitor the Town of Carefree Sign Ordinances. That committee had voted, in 2010, to remove "A Frame" signs from the approved ordinance.
Then in December 2011 the present council delayed the removal of the signs until December 31, 2012. Once again the mayor has demonstrated the same type of "leadership" as prior egomaniacal mayors. It is very similar to his refusal to allow the council to vote on both the number and placement of the new "business signs" ... and instead let his "right hand man" do whatever he wanted to do ... including cutting down a great tree at the intersection of Tom D. and Lucky Lane. We now have seven signs instead of the four that were recommended by two council members who worked for months on the project. And still NO HELP at all for the Bashas’ Center, whose merchants contribute greatly to our sales tax income but are totally ignored by Town Hall.
What is next, Carefree? Are you really willing to look forward to three or four more years of this?
Sixteen reasons why Governor Romney lost
As a progressive Conservative and a self-confessed political junkie I spent many hours following the recent election. With hindsight – always 100 percent - it seems evident to me why President Obama still resides in the White House.
1. The prolonged and adversarial Primary with several poor candidates. Adelson spending millions to remove Romney and then millions more to support him. All wasted dollars and a confused and amused electorate.
2. The 47 percent debacle. Unforgettable, unforgiveable gaffe.
3. Self-deportation of illegals. Unlikely to gain ANY Latino or immigrant votes.
4. Ryan as VP. Should have been one of the twenty-nine Republican Governors surely. Between them Ryan, Preibus and Walker could not even deliver Wisconsin for Romney.
5. Akin, Mourdock and their rape fixation – without Romney repudiation. Lost women votes.
6. Trump – all aspects, and especially the Birther Syndrome. It’s long over.
7. Little Romney mention of wars, armed forces dedication and sacrifice. Military or veteran votes gone?
8. Clint Eastwood and that chair. Who let that happen?
9. Bain history – jobs or no jobs and Sensata closure. (Google for detail but it was out there)
10. Binders of women – and the effect on women. More wasted women votes
11. Little mention of gay marriage or LBGT community. More lost votes.
12. Hurricane Sandy and the Governor Christie/Obama lovefest. Christie building credit for re-election maybe.
13. Focus on Iran and possible confrontation. The US is war weary! More lost votes.
14. Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Morris. Used to be political news journalists – now entertainers on par with Howard Stern, out of touch for political validity.
15. Jeep jobs to China. Even Romney seemed not to believe this but he kept saying it.
16. A marginally improving economy and almost a ‘better the devil we know’ electorate resignation.
With his team of Axelrod, Plouffe and Messina, all returning from their 2008 success Obama was given many extra opportunities by the campaign errors I list above. Karl Rove, with his memorable Fox News ‘this isn’t happening’ spat with Megyn Kelly and Dick Morris (Romney by five points) showed their arrogance and misunderstanding of a changing United States. If the Republican Party is to be seen again as a force in the next four, eight or even twelve years things have to change.
The “Fiscal Cliff” – Step on the gas
Let’s drive off the fiscal cliff. This is a rare opportunity to cut federal government spending. I know it also means a tax increase but it is much harder to cut spending than to cut taxes so let’s take this opportunity to cut spending and then work on reversing the tax increase at a later date.
Fix it right
I have been an appliance repairman for 40 years. My natural inclination is to fix things. As I look at the state of national affairs today, nothing seems to be working right. One hardly knows where to begin the repair. May I suggest tax reform?
The income tax discourages investment and productivity. It penalizes exporters who must add the cost of taxes into the price of everything they export. People with high incomes are leaving the United States in droves to avoid income taxes. Working people have up to 25 percent of their income confiscated before they even get their paychecks. The IRS intrudes into our private affairs. We waste hundreds of billions of dollars and millions of hours every year, in compliance costs. People who are not entitled defraud the system for undeserved refunds. Hundreds of billions in revenue from the underground economy and tax cheating is left on the table.
The FairTax changes everything. Because it is a tax on consumption, it sidesteps the entire list of evils associated with the income tax. The FairTax however goes beyond mere reform.
Sometimes when I am called upon to repair an appliance, the cost exceeds the value of the unit in question. That’s what’s happening with the income tax today. The income tax cannot be repaired. It must be replaced. Of all the plans being discussed on Capitol Hill, only the FairTax can bring the kind of fundamental and comprehensive change that will allow for a permanent fix.
Is Detroit an example of America’s future?
Many conservative Americans have been considering a comparison of the United States as somewhat unwillingly emulating Detroit for several years now. Many areas of Detroit resemble a war zone. Actually it looks nearly as bad as towns in Germany after WWII, especially Berlin.
No one, at least in the media it seems, is willing to even discuss how Detroit became such a devastated example of a political strategy. However, make no mistake it is, in a sense, a political “tragedy.” The liberal progressive Democratic party, along with unions, have controlled Detroit for well over half a century. The end result is shocking but available to all to witness. With give away programs and union demands for unreasonable compensation Detroit has sunk into an abyss where they are unable to recover on their own. This is the exact scenario the United States of America is quickly slipping into under Barack Obama’s tax, borrow and spend programs.
However, Detroit, once the 10th largest city in the U.S., has slipped to 18th in only a decade (2000 to 2010). The reason for the decline started nearly a half century ago when times were reasonably good. Detroit is only a small example of America’s problems under the liberal progressive Democratic tax, borrow and spend while promoting welfare programs for control or power; the state of California is also slipping into that same mire. Unabated spending of more revenue than is available will always end in the same scenario and all of America will learn this in the future. Because Detroit was a relatively small city it took a very long time for the deterioration to reach the point of collapse. This was mostly due to the fact it regularly had new capital injected into the economy via the booming automobile industry. The most visible damage began when that industry ran into financial problems. It will not take as long for the larger state of California to reach the same point because of the sheer size, but there is a possibility of a federal bailout in California. However, a U.S. bailout will only prolong the inevitable, unless the spending is curtailed considerably. The problem solving solution suggested by Obama and Biden in 2009 of “spend our way out of recession and into prosperity” most obviously does not work. Furthermore, a federal bailout would have to be on either borrowed or newly printed money, which in itself will only speed up the larger looming collapse. Both printing new money and borrowing excessive amounts of money, although different in nature, have the same destructive end. Poverty for all. The liberal progressive Democrats know however, a centralized large government can do things cities and states cannot. When taxation is overwhelming, people leave cities and states, for more friendly areas. Only the very rich leave the country under the same scenario federally. Federal governments under liberal progressive influence alone will not change because they have found handouts and give away welfare programs are their guarantee of remaining in power.
At one time it was impossible for anyone, regardless of political party, advocating a tax increase to be elected president. That is no longer the case. Now it seems it is possible if the tax increase is represented to only be on those who can afford it (the rich) and the result is perceived to be “redistributed” to the majority of the voters. Raising taxes is suddenly different and therefore, it not only becomes acceptable but desirable to some. No conservative advocating actual conservatism on the main issues confronting the U.S. can ever compete with such a platform. Consequently, America will continue to slip until those who desire freebies realize they are not really free any longer but are costly in all aspects of life, not just in dollars. As for now however, the majority has not reached that understanding. So the beat goes on.
JW/Breitbart Election Day poll shows deep public interest in Obama corruption
American citizens took to the polls and voted for the status quo. The Senate will remain in Democratic hands. Republicans maintain control of the House. And Barack Obama will be in the White House for another four years.
In terms of our 2012 Election Integrity Project, it looks like Romney's failure to get out the vote made it unnecessary for the Obama machine to outright "steal" the election. Our work in that area will only increase - our voter rolls are a mess; too many states have no voter ID requirement, and the "President and all his men" are hostile to election integrity.
While Judicial Watch would have had to play "wait and see" with a Romney administration with respect to how it adhered to the rule of law and its constitutional mandates, we know exactly what to expect from Obama's second term – corruption, secrecy and scandal, only in greater supply.
We can expect more secrecy, more unconstitutional czar appointments, and more wasteful taxpayer funded bailouts. We can expect more Solyndras and other green energy boondoggles and more illegal alien amnesty policies. We can expect more election fraud and more taxpayer support flowing to corrupt leftist groups like ACORN and Project Vote. We predict the ever greater expansion of raw government power but less respect for both the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law.
And if you don't believe me, just listen to the words of one Obama aide, who bragged to The Washington Post that bypassing our U.S. Constitution, Congress and the will of the American people will be the "new normal" in a second Obama term.
Judicial Watch President