Past Tense: December 22, 2016

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Ernie Maxwell as Santa Claus in an undated photo.
File photo

65 years ago - 1951 

The Lions Club viewed Korean War combat films at Fern Valley Lodge. The movies showed U.S. Marines withdrawing from Chosin.

60 years ago - 1956 

Because of continuous dry weather, residents and visitors were being asked to be extra careful of fire during the holidays. Jess Southwell and other Forest Service lookouts were still at their fire posts.

50 years ago - 1966 

Town Hall was ablaze with lights for the Christmas season. One hundred people attended a Christmas program there in which a cantata featured Louis Sauter directing with Dolores Bergman singing the solo part.

45 years ago - 1971

Over the weekend, somebody painted the house Ben Jones was building in Pine Cove. The painter must have picked the wrong structure by mistake. Fortunately, the owner approved the color chosen.

40 years ago - 1976

Shopping in Anchorage, Alaska, Grace Beckwith sat down in a mall to rest. Pretty soon, Santa Claus sat down next to her. Learning that Grace was from Idyllwild, Santa revealed that he had spent much of his younger days here on the Hill.

35 years ago - 1981 

Al Austin, an Idyllwild resident, was appointed to fill the vacancy left on the Idyllwild Water District board when George Kretsinger resigned.

30 years ago - 1986

For the first time in its 40-year history, the Idyllwild Fire Protection District hired a woman call-firefighter. Lori Opilger of Idyllwild was one of three new firefighters to join the Idyllwild Firefighters Association. The other two new call-firefighters were Randy Nugent and Dave Sandlin.

25 years ago - 1991 

While attempting to investigate the stabbing murder of Terence Alberni, two Riverside County Sheriff’s officers were shot at by two men on Sugar Pine Drive in Pine Cove.

20 years ago - 1996 

Phyllis Petri was elected president of the Hemet Unified School District governing board.

15 years ago - 2001 

The Christmas Bird Count at Lake Hemet logged 90 species.

10 years ago - 2006 

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution to rename Highway 243 the “Esperanza Firefighters’ Memorial Highway.” A similar proposal was to go before the state Legislature in January.

5 years ago - 2011 

The draft Corridor Management Plan for the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway became available for public comment.

1 year ago - 2015

Melissa Severa, Yokoji Zen Mountain Center resident, wrote about “one woman’s story of wildfire, family and the Zen of survival.” Her story, “Mountain Fire Mama,” is a personal account of the center’s narrow escape from fire and the major damage it subsequently suffered from torrents of water carrying debris and mud that buried cars and impacted structures.

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