Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Sad and Happy

This year our holiday card is sad and happy. We have smiles, but they are melancholy ones. Larry's parents' home in Paradise, California was destroyed in the recent Camp Fires. Larry's brother, John has lived in the house since  my in-laws, Hoyt and Maryanna passed away years ago. John managed to escape the raging fires, along with his cat and a few belongings and flee down the hill to Chico. He stayed in a rescue facility for about a week and then relocated with friends near Sacramento. He is lucky to be alive. John is fairly comfortable for now. There are no immediate plans to rebuild the family house. It will be a long time before ANYONE can re-build in the town of Paradise. The infrastructure in town needs to be re-built and improved. Only time will tell.
The fireplace, brick walls and a few metal items remain of the Paradise home. Photo by Larry Underhill
Google Maps capture of the Underhill home in Paradise

Our holiday card is a picture of the sheet music for the song along with the original illustration, "I Love You, California," written in 1913 by Francis Beatty Silverwood and Abraham Franklin Frankenstein. In 1913, the song was introduced by opera star Mary Garden, associated with the Chicago Grand Opera at the time.  In 1951, the California State Legislature passed a resolution designating it as California's official State song. If you look at the card carefully, you will see where Larry added a map of the town of Paradise in Northern California with a tiny red star to show the location of the house. Click on this LINK to see the lyrics and MANY verses! Click here to HEAR the song. 
Even though we have devastating fires, floods and earthquakes in California, it's still our home and we will always love it.
Have a joyful holiday season and cherish your loved ones. Things can be replaced (usually).
Hugs from Ellen and Larry. December 2018.

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At 3:30 PM PST, Blogger Beverly Leech said...

That is tragic that it happened to your family! And I do agree we love our crazy fractured beautiful corner of the world with all its faults ��


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