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Thanks for Christmas cheer!

Ours was a Thanksgiving and Christmas like no other.

Indeed, it has been a year few of us have ever experienced and none want to experience again.

Yet, it has had its bright spots. So many came up with creative ways to raise people’s spirits in otherwise dark times, ways to continue to do business, ways to continue to educate children. We saw virtual and social distanced graduations, drive-by homecoming parades, even a drive-by Christmas parade.

In other words, we carried on.

We are thankful for those like Burnley Cook and his band of merry helpers.

We may not have had the traditional Natchez Santa Claus parade this year, but on a couple of occasions, we had Burnley Cook, who put his calliope on the back of his truck and delighted young and old as he drove through Natchez streets playing Christmas songs.

Those in their living rooms who began hearing Christmas music, which got closer and closer, headed outside to see where it was coming from, only to find Cook sitting in his pickup truck, playing his calliope while a friend drove the truck. Another rode shotgun, handing out candy canes and other goodies.

It was impossible to step outside, see Cook and hear his music without smiling.

It evoked in many a recollection of the days when Natchez residents would line up in their cars at night at the old International Paper Co. plant and wait their turn to drive through the entrance of the plant and view its mechanical Christmas decorations and hear Christmas music.

Those same decorations are still up on the bluff and continue to amaze Natchez area children.

Thank you, Burnley, for bringing to all of us a little Christmas cheer at the end of this trying year. We surely needed it. Best wishes to you for a very happy new year.

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