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“PIONEER RESIDENTS RECALL
EARLY PASADENA CHRISTMAS”

Article written in 1972 for the Western Star by Terry LeDrew

 

 

“Yes sir, I’d have to trudge back into the brush three or four times for another tree before Mom would decide what one she liked best” chuckled Pop Wells, reminiscing about Christmas in Pasadena when he was one of the only residents in the area.

Thomas and Tryphena Wells, fondly called Mom and Pop by most people in the town, were among the pioneer residents of Pasadena, and are now the oldest residents there, at ages 86 and 85 respectively.

What were the first Christmases in Pasadena like? If you’ve got some picture conjured up of two lonely people locked in by the storm, rubbing their hands to keep warm and celebrating Christmas in much the same manner as any other day, dispel the thought.

“Well, there were about four families here that we got to know, the LeDrews, Atkinsons, Earles and the Dawes. Christmas Eve, Mom and I would trod up through the snowbanks, sometimes for two miles, to get to that Christmas cheer!” says Pop. “Oh, we danced and sang and had a couple, enough in fact, to keep us warm on the trek back. Usually around dawn the parties broke up.”

“That was the big thing then,” says Mom. “It wasn’t how much Christmas will cost this year or worrying about the gifts, there was a friendliness and getting together that seems to be lacking nowadays. Maybe because there were no clubs to go to then.”

One of the earliest recollections Pop has of the cold winters in Pasadena, is the time he bought a cow up in Cormack and led it down, by hoof, to Pasadena. That was before the days of his ’52 Chev, which, by the way, is still “running like a dream” according to Pop.

Pop and Mom’s plot of land, appropriately called “Valley Stream”, must have been the inspiration of many a Christmas card, for nature’s own method of festive decoration has had a hand here in winter. The snow billows up and glazes the windows, and hangs from the poplar trees Pop planted back in ’39, frosty from limb to limb.

This will be Pops’ and Moms’ 62nd Christmas together, and they plan to celebrate it, not with the usual Christmas commercialism of ‘best lights and plastic,’ but in being with as many as possible of their 15 grandchildren, who, Pop announces beamingly,” are all as hearty as dogs, not a blemish on them!”

 

 

Transcribed and Contributed by Dave Norman

Page Revised by Craig Peterman (Wednesday March 06, 2013)

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