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Bob Lind, Published December 24 2012

Lind: Christmas music brings back memories

Music is as much a part of Christmas as the star on the tree. What Christmas is complete, for instance, without “Silent Night”?

Some seasonal songs bring back wonderful memories. For Becky Jahnke, of Durbin, N.D., it’s “Silver Bells.” When she hears it, she writes, “It reminds me of Christmas past in Fargo.

“Downtown Fargo at Christmas in the ’60s used to be one of the highlights of the season for my sisters and me,” Becky says.

“Before the ‘mall-ization’ of Broadway, every store window was a wonderland of Christmas delights.

“The most amazing sight, of course, was the animated display in the Herbst (department store) windows. It just wasn’t Christmas until we had oohed and aahed over the moving figures. It didn’t matter that every year it was the same. That was part of the magic.

“There was always a huge lighted Christmas tree and a manger scene at the foot of Broadway, where the street widened out between Woolworth’s and Penney’s. And all of Broadway was lit with the most wonderful hanging decorations arching over the street from building to building like a canopy of light.

“Shoppers, with noses bright red from the cold, bundled up in parkas and snow boots, walked from store to store, in and out, up and down Broadway, through the snow, greeting friends with a cheery ‘Merry Christmas.’

“The stores were crowded, but very civil; no mad dashes, shoving others out of the way to get to the best bargains.”

Becky lists other memories of downtown Fargo in the ’60s, then says, “While no one wants to offend others, all the political correctness that dictates we keep our Christmas cheer to ourselves has turned the ‘holidays’ into a shadow of the fun, excitement and joy that Christmas once was in the past.”

She concludes by wishing everyone a “very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.”

To which Neighbors adds personal greetings for a blessed and merry Christmas and New Year to you.


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If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com