A Jackson Christmas Carol

Traditional Music NIght Cape County History Center 12-10-2016I love going to the Cape Girardeau County History Center in Jackson for their monthly traditional music nights, but I wasn’t sure about this one, which was billed as a Christmas sing-a-long.

See, I’m not crazy about Christmas music for good reason. When I was at The Gastonia (NC) Gazette or The Athens (OH) Messenger, I’d work my normal Christmas Eve shift, then load wife and cat in the car and head out for Cape. It was eight hours and change from Athens, and almost ten hours from Gastonia.

Younger readers won’t understand this, but cars didn’t always come with CD players, FM radios, satellite radios and portable MP3 devices. In fact, mine didn’t even have so much as an 8-track in it. That meant that we had 10 hours of nothing but fading AM radio stations playing Christmas music punctuated by static as we would go in and out of range. By the time we rolled into 1618 Kingsway Drive at midnight or 2 in the morning, my tank of Christmas music was overfilled.

Not your usual caroling

Traditional Music NIght Cape County History Center 12-10-2016A lot of traditional songs were played, but they had music like Chuck Picklesimer’s account of Christmas tree harvesting documented in West Virginia Credit Card. I kept waiting for them to play a song I contributed to a company holiday mix tape: Chipmunks Roasting Over an Open Fire, but it must not have been on their list.

A ride through Jackson City Park

Jackson City Park Xmas 12-10-2016When the sing-a-long wrapped up, it was time to cruise over to the city park. I was impressed at how pretty Jackson’s City Park was decorated last year, but 2016 is even more impressive. (In case you’ve forgotten, you can click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the images.)

Even more trees had lights

Jackson City Park Xmas 12-10-2016After leaving Jackson, I made a loop of North County Park, a traditional place to see Christmas displays, but I didn’t shoot anything. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen those displays so many times, or maybe it’s because I love seeing trees wrapped in lights rather than man-made exhibits, but I have to vote for Jackson as the place to go.

Video with Silent Night


I turned on my digital recorder at some point during the pickin’, and captured the group singing all three verses of Silent Night. That sounded like the perfect background music for a drive through the Jackson Park.

(Ignore all the data streaming my at the bottom of the frame. That’s stuff my DOD Tech DOD-LS470W dash camera records. It’s pretty cool. It even has a GPS built in so I can overlay the information on a map. When I tie that in with the time stamps on my digital photos, it helps me figure out where a photo was taken.)

It’s that time of year again

If you are feeling in the Christmas spirit, there’s a small, yellow DONATE button at the top of the page.

If you’re looking for gifts for your friends, the latest edition of Smelterville: A Community of Love is available at these local stores:

Cape Girardeau County History Center, 102 S. High Street, Jackson, Mo., 63755; Phone 573-979-5170. $20 in person; $30 to cover shipping and handling if mailed.

Annie Laurie’s Antique Store, 536 Broadway Street, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63701; Phone 573-339-1301, $20 in person.

Pastimes Antiques, 45 Main Street, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63701; Phone 573-332-8882. $20 in person.



13 Replies to “A Jackson Christmas Carol”

    1. I’m sorry I wasn’t more clear. The photos and video are from Jackson City Park. I drove through North County Park, but it looked just like it has for years, so I didn’t shoot anything.

  1. Beautiful pictures, Ken. I love driving around looking at Christmas displays. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  2. Ken

    Trying to pick up Christmas music on Radio Luxemburg in Europe in the 60’s was tough. I had a 55 VW with
    terrible reception. I missed the thrill of Christmas morning and not being with my family. But I was all
    grown up at 19. Even though we don’t see eye to eye on certain subjects I miss Cape and your blog. MERRY

  3. Ken, I was honored to finally meet you at the Methodist Wimpy burger event. I really miss coming to Cape every year, The Hudson window and others on Main St. but the parents have passed, and we have kids and grandkids coming here now. I remember the drive thru the county park, but not sure if I ever went to the Jackson park at Christmas. Probably just don’t remember it. (I hope it will soon be OK to disagree again, and even to be offended…)

  4. Ken, you out-Did yourself on this one! Absolutely love it! I haven’t gotten out to the Jackson City Park display yet. The new mayor stated in The Cashbook Journal that it was going to be bigger and better this year, but your Christmas music added so much to it. THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS WITH US!

  5. Ken,

    For unknown reasons, I am no longer receiving your wonderful writings. I miss you! Do hope you will reinstall me on your list. Either email address will do: yenrac@cebridge.net or my preferred address – kcarney47@gmail.com
    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas, happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2017.

    1. I’ll check to see if your address is still on the subscriber list, but the sad truth is that I’ve been slacking off. I’ll try to get back to posting more regularly after the first of the year.

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