Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Community News Network

December 6, 2013

A 67-year-old caroling tradition

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

"Kenwood has a very close-knit community," said Mary Eileen Morrissey, who has helped organize its children's breakfast with Santa, for 10 years. Ruthanna has played piano and introduced Santa at those breakfasts and has been instrumental in bringing Kenwood together in other ways, including holding monthly dinners, starting the neighborhood Garden Club and serving as president of the Kenwood Citizens Association.

"The community and traditions that Kenwood has stems from the people like Ruthanna, who have been here a long time and have educated the new people to ensure that these traditions are passed down," Morrissey said.

Until Christmas Eve 2012, as far as anyone could remember, the caroling tradition at least had always continued.

In 1945, on her second Christmas Eve in her new neighborhood, Ruthanna got into the back of a pickup truck with a few friends, a piano and some songbooks. They drove the winding Kenwood streets — some of which were still dirt roads — stopping periodically to regale their neighbors with carols. At the time, there were 80 houses, about 200 fewer than stand today. People were surprised and delighted and would come out and join them, bringing hot cider to warm the plucky singers.

The next year, when the piano fell out of the back of the truck — most likely the result of too much eggnog — everyone agreed they needed to find a safer, stationary location for caroling. Ruthanna instantly visualized what they needed: a giant Christmas tree to gather around.

Ruthanna approached one of the two founders of Kenwood, Donal Chamberlin, and told him the neighborhood needed to plant not a cherry tree but a Christmas tree in the landmark circle. Ruthanna eventually persuaded him, leading to its unofficial designation as "Christmas Tree Circle."

Ruthanna assumed the tree would outlive her, but it fell victim to a vicious storm in 1989, having lasted a mere 42 years. Its replacement succumbed 13 years later to construction work in 2002. Now Ruthanna is on her third tree, a 50-foot-high Colorado blue spruce. Every year, a few weeks before Christmas, the tree is strung with colored lights to welcome the holiday season. Back in the days of the first tree, it took many years for the neighbors to persuade Rosemary Plumb that she didn't need to climb the tree limbs to hang the lights — it was okay to use ladders.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
House Ads
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide