Throughout the month of December, The Tribune-Democrat ran photos and stories of favorite decorations as submitted by our readers.
Some decorations were featured on our front page. Click here to see the pics we didn't publish.
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Janice Selak | Johnstown
“My late husband, Joseph J. Freidhoff, made this nativity for our first Christmas together in 1955,” wrote Janice Selak of Johnstown.
Helen Teno | Portage
“These ceramic nativity figures were made for me by my daughters Kathy, Karen, and Teresa, when they were in high school back in the year 1974 which they painted and surprised me with them,” Helen Teno of Portage. “I put it up every year in my house. It's one of my favorite treasures.”
Kelly Null | Johnstown
“This hand tree was created by my parents when I was very young out of the handprints of my family members,” wrote Kelly Null of Johnstown. “We hang it up on our door every year and I have occasionally added new ornaments.”
Gary & Elaine Kinley | Richland
“This little angel has adorned our Christmas tree, every year since 1960, 52 years,” Gary and Elaine Kinley of Richland Township. “She was on our first tree and continues to shine brightly for us every year.”
Pat McGlynn | Johnstown
“My mother, Alice McGlynn of Hastings, goes all out decorating for every season but especially for Christmas,” wrote Pat McGlynn of Johnstown. “This is just a small sample of some of her decorations. She has set up a Christmas village with all the buildings and many, many villagers on her coffee table in the living room. Through the years all of her 12 grandchildren and now her five great-grandchildren love to come to see Gram's decorations.”
Ernie Penatzer | New Germany
“About eight years ago I received a Christmas card with a picture of Santa elevating the flag. She said it reminded her of me,” wrote Ernie Penatzer of New Germany. “I kept drawing the Santa form a tiny picture on the card until it was the size of the picture. I cut it out of plywood and painted it. If I don’t put it out early everyone asks, ‘where is your Santa?’”
John & Sharon Gustkey | Johnstown
“Our children made these decorations in 1988,” wrote John and Sharon Gustkey of Johnstown. “They were ages 8, 7 and 6 years old. They are made from wooden ice cream spoons. (From little Dixie cups.) They surprised us Christmas day, giving us these as gifts. We cherish them so much. They are the first things hung and the last things taken down. And we reminisce of how much they mean to us.”
Bonne Camblin | Johnstown
“Christmas was always a very special time in our household due to my father being a pastor,” wrote Bonnie Camblin of Johnstown. “When my parents, Rev. Don and Shirley Sease, were married on June 22, 1951, one of the first things they did was to purchase a tree topper for their first Christmas tree. They purchased a silver foil Santa tree topper that would appear every Christmas at the top of our tree. As children, my brother, Tim, and I would anticipate his arrival when the tree was decorated. As we grew up, married and had our own families, we often joked about Grammy’s tattered foil Santa. No matter what ornaments came and went, my mother never strayed from using that special tree toppper - a symbol of their first Christmas as a married couple. Today both our parents are gone, yet their old foil Santa now sits atop my family’s Christmas tree, reflecting the love our parents so generously bestowed upon all the members of our families throughout their lifetime.”
Dorothy M. Boyer | Stoystown
“This is a collection of approximately 15 years of Snow Babies representing memories of friends’ gifts, trips, visits and purchases at Christmas,” wrote Dorothy M. Boyer of Stoystown. “There are 78 and no two are alike. It has become a conversation piece and reminiscing for friends and family.”
Jean Benedict | Johnstown
“I’ve been collecting salt and pepper shakers for 60 years or more,” wrote Jean Benedict of Johnstown. “This year, I thought I would decorate with my Christmas ones. Every year I do put ones out but not all and every year I get more. I especially treasure the ones my sister got me on their honeymoon 55 years ago. She got them in New Jersey.”
John Buser | Boswell
“We lived in Southmont for many years and our house was on Cheney Street high on a hill and we had the Noel where it was visible for all to see,” John Buser of Boswell. “The Noel is about 53 years old. The wreath we made from the grape vines we found in the woods nearby and is about 42 years old. We live in the country now. Our children are all grown and have moved elsewhere but coming home for Christmas and seeing these decorations are very meaningful for them.”
- Local News
County to refinance $19M in debt, assume $5 million loan to avoid default
The Cambria County commissioners announced Thursday that a secured bank deal, taking effect at the start of 2014, would refinance $19 million in debt over the next 15 years and allow the county to assume a new $5 million loan, to be paid over the next eight years. The commissioners believe it will partially rectify the county’s cash crisis.
Citing persistent, yearly shortfalls and unresolved disagreements over county spending measures, Cambria County Controller Ed Cernic Jr. said that county budgeteers are simply “kicking the can down the road.”
UPDATE: Man hurt in West End fire.
A West End man was injured early today when gasoline vapors from a motorcycle he was repairing apparently were ignited by a natural gas heater in his Mystic Court garage, officials said.
- Firefighters battled house fire in Johnstown
Scores turn out to revisit history
Greater Johnstown High School student Jeremy Updyke proudly wore a U.S. Navy uniform Thursday night.
Child abuse reforms taking center stage
Cumbersome legal definitions of child abuse can stymie doctors, nurses and caseworkers who might believe a child is in danger, according to advocates lobbying for changes to the state’s child welfare system.
- Elf on the clock
River in running for state title
The Kiski-Conemaugh River, like the Stonycreek, is touted as an environmental success story – a waterway on the rebound from decades of coal and steel industry ills.
The rivers’ supporters hope they’ll soon share another trait: Pennsylvania River of the Year.
Que release valve ready for long-awaited repairs
The Quemahoning Reservoir’s damaged whitewater release valve likely will be on its way to Illinois next week for repairs.
City man’s film to be streamed
Johnstown resident Chad King, a student at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts in Orange, Calif., will have his documentary screened at 10 tonight in the Folino Theater on the Dodge campus.
Windber’s festival of trees will brighten homestead
A Festival of the Trees will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 29 at Windber Area Museum, 601 15th St.
- More Local News Headlines
- County to refinance $19M in debt, assume $5 million loan to avoid default