It seems like every year, when I get around to writing the highlights for the following season I usually start out with, ‘what a great time we had…’, but, WOW, 2011 really was special in so many ways.
To begin with, we learned in September that we had won Light-O-Rama’s 2010 contest for the largest display category. Being recognized by them was very special to us. You can watch the winning video here:
In late October, Kim Hart contacted me and asked if I would be interested in doing a segment for a show that Cablevision broadcasts in quite a few counties, including: Dutchess, Westchester, Rockland and Orange. Back in 2009, Kim had contacted us to do a segment to air just in Dutchess County and she did a great job, so we said, ‘sure’.
Along the way, Kim has also worked with us to video tape 5 songs per year from many different angles to try to capture a better perspective of the display and those videos are also available on Youtube.
Most of the choreography has been completed by me over the years. Dan and John have been doing more of it as they have gotten older. As most folks know, U2 has been one of the inspirations for our display. In 2011, John choreographed a U2 song. Everyone who saw his work was stunned as it truly is amazing and his U2 song is the best one ever choreographed to our display. You can watch his video here: New Years Day
We had many great times with friends and family. The weekend of December 10th was our ‘AR’ weekend, when sistar M’AR’, sister K’AR’ and niece, Sh’AR’, all visited. It just so happened that on the 10th, our nice new neighbors Rob and Annie were over visiting and we were enjoying some fine wine. After the light show ended, I decided to put on an U2 dvd for Annie and Rob. I had forgotten that Mar and Don, had already gone up to bed, in the room above the family room. Naturally, they were a little shocked when the floor started shaking! On the last night of the display, December 27th I had a visit from a very dear friend from High School. I had not seen Lisa since 1980 and was so happy when she made the trek up from the Rochester area to see the display and visit.
On December 22nd, we had the privilege of visiting Annie, Bill and Woodman, at the K104 studios. They could not have been any nicer, and we really enjoyed our time with them. You can listen to the audio clip her: K104 Audio
After all that fun, it was finally time to take the display down, starting the morning of December 28th. Not only were we blessed with the warmest temperatures ever, but also with some extra help. Rob, our next door neighbor came over and spent the whole first day helping with the takedown. There was also a young gentleman observing us that first morning, so after a while I asked him if he would like to help. 11 year old Jake was amazing and spent the next 3 ½ days helping us take the display down in it’s entirety. In speaking with him we learned that he is also a Christmas light enthusiast and has a fine display just down the road. Jake also ‘knew’ our website better than we did! And lastly, much to my delight, daughter Emily decided to help with the take down this year and was with us the entire time. Accomplishing the take down in 3 ½ days was wonderful and really sets the bar high for 2012.
This year, the story didn’t end with the take down. In mid-January I was surprised to receive a large envelope from the Dutchess County Legislature. When I opened it, I found this letter and certificate. Needless to say, we were all very touched to receive this and really appreciate it.