‘A Big Surprise’ Thrills Popular Veteran

Update—Pine Mountain, CA (January 7, 2013 at 3:30 p.m.)—  A celebration of life for Frank Sanchez in the Condor Room of the Pine Mountain clubhouse is being planned. The date and time will be announced as soon as possible.

Update—Pine Mountain, CA (January 7, 2013 at 10:40 a.m.)— A family friend of Frank and Sylvia Sanchez called this morning to inform us that Frank Sanchez died early this morning, at about 1:43 a.m., surrounded by family and friends. He had been battling pancreatic and liver cancer, Sylvia Sanchez said. We will provide memorial information as soon as the family has arrangements available.

Pine Mountain Village Discovers a Unique Talent for Celebrating Holidays

By Frank Sanchez, co-founder of the tradition of Santa’s visit to Pine Mountain Village

I was told to be at the Pine Mountain Village gazebo at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 and that the kids had something to give me. I thought, ‘What could it be? Ok…it must be something they made me for Christmas.’

I watched the kids march through the village with Santa, then walked up to the gazebo, still wondering what it could be.

The little children were in their elf costumes and singing carols. After that, Allie Jo Thomas called me up to the stage. She said the kids and the community had a gift for me for all the work I’ve done in the past for the Pine Mountain Village Center and the Pine Mountain community.

Allie Jo said the box was heavy and fragile. I thought ‘OK! It’s a box full of glass rocks.’

When I opened it, to my surprise, it was a Thomas Kinkade Christmas scene of a house with snow on the roof and Santa Claus in his sleigh with his reindeer.

I was so touched that I cried. I’m a number one cry baby. At that moment I said to myself, ‘All the work was worth it!’

Thank you to all for your thoughtfulness.

Sanchez is known for maintaining the Cody Prosser Veterans Memorial in Frazier Mountain Park and for a wide range of public service activities.

This is part of the January 04, 2013 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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