Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Flashback . . .

Ok so I know Christmas was a few weeks ago and you're prolly all Christmas'd out but I've got a story for you . . . so press the little rewind button on your brain and journey back with me if you will . . . So as you may remember I wrote a post a while ago talking about the lights at Christmas time (click here for said post). I talked about the fact that as a kid I didn't really like driving around looking for Christmas lights because, lets be honest, a couple of lights here and there really isn't that exciting. In fact it's lame. However, what I failed to mention is that there was one house that always made me giddy with excitement. There was one house that made the annual quest for lights worth it.

Most of you know I spent the majority of my growing up years in Colorado, but when I was really little I lived in a small town in western Nebraska. And every Christmas there would be a line of cars waiting to take the annual drive up and down Avenue C in Scottsbluff Nebraska to witness the most elaborate light display within a thousand miles. Not just elaborate for a small town, but elaborate period. Parents would crouch behind the steering wheel staring in disbelief while simultaneously navigating the family station wagon slowly and carefully down the street so as not to hit the oncoming cars or any pedestrians . . . all the car windows would be down with jaw-dropped faces hanging out in utter awe of the light spectacle before them. Well when I was writing my Christmas lights post I thought I would surely be able to find pictures of this house on the internet . . . I googled my little heart out and came up empty handed. Nothing. I kept trying but still nothing, so I put a link to another house with crazy lights (sigh). Whatever.

That was fine for the blog, but that didn't work for me. I wanted to see that house again, the house with the best Christmas lights I would ever see. So I finally landed on the page for the Daily Star Herald, the local newspaper. Without really thinking of what I was doing I called. . .

Star Herald: Hello, how can I direct your call?
Me: Well, I'm not really sure. . . I'm actually looking for something, um . . . ok I grew up in *Gering when I was a kid and there was this one house that always had these crazy Christmas lights, I dunno maybe you know what I'm talking about, and I'm just trying to find an article or some pictures . . . I think I remember hearing that the man who lived there was an electrician or something . . . do you know what I'm talking about? (*Gering was the town right next to Scottsbluff)
SH: Why yes, I know just the house you're talking about. I don't know if we have any pictures but I can give you his name.
Me: You can? That would be great.
SH: Sure it's Gene -------. (I'm not sure Gene would want me posting his full name).
Me: Thank you so much. I should be able to find some more information online! Thanks!
SH: No problem. Have a good day!

Perfect, now that I had a name this would be easy. Back to Google . . . I couldn't believe it, still nothing. Nothing except Gene's address and home phone number . . . I mean I did call the Star Herald . . . no dude, that's just weird, I can't call the guy at. . .

Gene: Hello?
Me: Hi, is this Gene?
Gene: Why yes it is. . .

So I explain to him the same story. . . that I remembered his fantastic light show from my childhood and I wanted to find some pictures to show my friends and family but couldn't find anything on the internet. He was so kind and fortunately for me, didn't think I was a total loon. He was even happy that I called and thanked me for expressing interest in his light display. We talked for a few minutes and I asked if he ever had any media attention for his work. He told me he's been on the cover of local and college newspapers and even the cover of Nebraska Light and Power (or something to that effect). I was also happy to hear that he still does his Christmas light display every year, and they were "up as we speak." He also was more than happy to send me some pictures of his Christmas lights. So last week we finally received our much anticipated letter from Nebraska . . . The pictures are a little grainy and don't showcase the full intensity of the lights, but now I present to you THE BEST CHRISTMAS LIGHTS EVA!

Up first, the fire place. . . the flames actually moved like fire! And, I know you can't see very well, but the chimes in the bells move back and forth.


Here is the train--it actually rotates around and around the pole (which is the bottom of the Christmas tree as you'll see later).

This is Santa flying through the night. . . his arm moves back and forth and waves to all the good little girls and boys.

A holly garland in lights. Brilliant.


This was always a favorite. . . the angel actually disappears, the reappears again . . . very cool.

Finally, a look at the whole house, which doesn't really do it justice, but you get the idea. We're not just talking lights here people, but animated and moving lights. Tell me you wouldn't be a little excited to drive around looking at lights if this was your grand finale?

Finally, just for authenticities sake, the letter Gene sent me himself. . .

If you actually read this whole post, thanks for indulging me. I'm so glad I called Gene. I hope neither him nor his family (or my family for that matter) thinks I'm too crazy, but seeing those pictures brings back some great Christmas memories . . . and I would say thats at least a little bit of what Christmas is about. Thanks Gene.

5 comments:

  1. Chelsea11:44 AM

    Amy that's so cool---I remember you were doing your detective work while you were in town, so I'm glad you had your happy ending. How old is Gene? Thanks for the update!

    ReplyDelete
  2. amy_
    i always tell bracken how i don't get through long posts and end up skimming the first few lines of each sentence. but i read every word of this story. which was enthralling. the world needs more amy webbs.

    ReplyDelete
  3. amy: i'm peter's cousin and i know he is lying about reading your whole post. i read it, though. has gene checked out this post?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I gave Gene our blog address so hopefully he's had a chance to read it. But I don't know for sure . . .

    ReplyDelete
  5. I read every line of your post. I feel like I was there and it was beautiful.

    ReplyDelete