It’s been a week of transitions in Page. Out with Thanksgiving, in with Christmas. Moving from football, volleyball and soccer to basketball and wrestling.
Speaking of which, this year’s Thanksgiving was particularly enjoyable for Dante Gracia. Dante, you’ll remember, was runner-up at last year’s state wrestling championships. He’s been wrestling since he was four years old, and unfortunately for him, and all other wrestlers, the beginning of wrestling season coincides with Thanksgiving. Given that’s he’s been making weight ever since he can remember he hasn’t been able to go all out during Thanksgiving dinner. Until this year.
“It was great!” he said. “I ate whatever I felt like.”
December in Page is a very busy time. Most weekends between now and Christmas have two or three big events. December in Page needs to be ten weeks long to fit in all our wonderful events.
Chyenne Klemme was poised, graceful and elegant as she took the stage during this year’s performance of the Nutcracker Ballet. She was the perfect embodiment of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Grace Barney, in the role of Clara, and the cast of little sugar plums, soldiers, dolls, and flowers were equally graceful and elegant.
Among the dancers were three generations of Wilsons and Tappans: Barb Wilson, Hillery Tappan and Reece Tappan. Barb has been dancing in Jan Kocjan’s The Nutcracker since its very first production about 27 years ago. Hillery started taking ballet from Kocjan since she was six and Reece since she was three. They were joined on stage this year by Hillery’s husband, Levi Tappan, who played the Colonel.
The Dancespace ballerinas weren’t the only ones with butterflies flitting in their stomachs last weekend.
On the other side of the high school campus the Lady Sand Devils were also feeling the pre-performance jitters as they took the court during this year’s NGS Holiday Classic. They were victorious in two of their three games, earning a third place trophy. They got some surprise help from sophomores Dana Smith and Camryn Nockideneh who came off the bench Saturday and helped them secure their victory over the Estrella Foothills Wolves.
Sand Devils wrestling also began their season this week and did so with a bang, attending three meets in four days. They finished their grueling week with the Panguitch Invitational Friday and Saturday, which resulted in Kamryn Whitewater, Kaleb June and Christian Penrod standing on the podium’s top step.
More and more Christmas lights are appearing on eaves throughout town, and more yards adorned with Christmas decorations. Floats for the upcoming Christmas Parade are coming along. Judy Franz says they have 28 entrants so far, which will make this year’s parade one the biggest turnouts in years.
Perhaps the biggest news of the week came from the Navajo Generating Station which announced they’re extending their lease, enabling them to continue producing electricity, through December 2019.
To the disappointment of many outdoor enthusiasts, President Trump shrunk one of our favorite outdoor recreation areas, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, by nearly a million acres, and the newly-created Bears Ears National Monument by 1.14 million acres.
CRD ran their last river trips last week and now they’re in the process of pulling their rafts off the river and storing them in their warehouse and yard. Meanwhile Aramark is in the process of commissioning a new fleet of rafts be built for the day when they start running tours in Glen Canyon.
One of the few things not in transition this week is the weather. Yes, the weather has cooled considerably, but northern Arizona remains in one of its driest periods in decades, with no precipitation forecasted, at least for the next week. Many in town are wishing for some snow to make our Christmas season more festive, myself included. It’s been a nearly two years since our last good snow. Last year we had only two small skiffs the entire winter, neither of them any deeper than a Canadian frost.
The peregrine falcons, which make their nest on Glen Canyon’s first telephone pole on the right, have left for the winter having successfully raised their chicks to adulthood for the seventh year in a row. The golf course geese should be arriving any day.
Those were just a few of the wonderful things that happened last week in Page.