|Gayle Hill tells the historical society the story of how Rudloph the Red Nosed reindeer was written.|
For its Christmas party, the Emery County Historical Society had favorite Christmas treats, told stories of memorable Christmases, and sang carols. They met at the Museum of the San Rafael and president Bert Oman welcomed everyone.
Gayle Hill, of Ferron, read a story that told how the poem Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer came about. She told about Robert May, who lived in Chicago and worked for Montgomery Ward in 1938. His wife was very ill with cancer and his small daughter asked him why her mommy had to be different that other childrens'. It was the Christmas season and so May prayerfully considered the question.
He improvised a seasonal story about a reindeer who lived at the North Pole who was different from all the other reindeer in Santa's stable. May's daughter Barbara, enjoyed the story so much that she insisted he retell it each night.
Just before Christmas, the mother died. He realized that most of the money the family had was used for medical expenses and he didn't have anything special to give his daughter. He decided to make her a book of the story he had been telling her. He wrote it down, made drawings of some of the important points, and created a book to give to Barbara for Christmas.
May had been invited to a company Christmas party and he decided to take the book which his daughter had so enjoyed to show his fellow workers. He read the book and was astonished by the thunderous applause he got when he finished. That was in 1938, and by 1947, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was the most distributed book in the world.
Following that story, members of the historical society told of their memorable Christmas. Some were funny, some were a little sad, and all were enjoyable.
Kathrine Seely read a story about the chimes in a church that rang for the good gifts for the Christ Child. Montell Seely related a story about finding a Christmas present as a child, shoe skates, early and sneaking out to use them before Christmas. The group continued the party singing many Christmas carols as Evelyn Huntsman accompanied on the piano.