One of the main highways in Arizona is I-17 and runs North/South between Phoenix and Flagstaff. Up on the mesa, just a few miles North of Sunset Point, is a Christmas tree. In a wide natural landscape, in between the North and South directions of the interstate lanes, lives a scruffy tree that receives Christmas decorations every year, somehow. No one knows exactly how this is done, or who does the great thing. The general idea is that a Christmas crew of Santa's elves selects a night with a full moon, for there are no street lights along the highway in this area, to decorate the tree. Needless to say, it brings smiles and wonder to all who see it. We expect to see it! We are grateful for it! Selfless acts of kindness always melts the heart - especially at Christmas time. I imagine these folks, human or elf, carrying boxes and boxes of ornaments, ladders and the great big star that adorns the top. There are no lights on the tree - it is simply a scruffy old tree in the middle of the highway that receives a little Christmas miracle every year. The most beautiful Christmas tree I have ever seen.
Highway 69 turns off I-17 to the West, and on to Prescott Valley at Cordes Junction - to the East is the famous Arcosanti - an architectural project that began in 1970 by Paolo Soleri. Highway 69 took years to be transformed from a 2 lane road to a 4 lane highway because the engineers kept running into old mines that had to be filled or, in some places, archaeological sites were discovered that needed to be protected.
Prescott Valley was once called JackAss Flats and then Lonesome Valley. This area has still retained its feeling of the West in open prairie lands, ranch lands and rugged mountains. Our candle workshop and store is on the Eastern edge of Prescott Valley next door to some of the property owned by the Fain family who founded a homestead in Lonesome Valley in 1874.
As we approach the holiday season I think about where we are - how we got here - and why do so many of our family members live somewhere else? Everybody seems to use the phrase "out West" and "back East". Well, Kent's family moved to Arizona from Kentucky in 1959, mine from Florida in 1964. The candle business started in old town Tempe in 1971 and the even though the candles have changed over the years, all are original - as well as the process developed to make the best candles we can. I often think about our people who use our candles at special events, weddings and opening as gifts on Christmas day. We are so very grateful to all of our loyal customers.
This is a photo of our store display for Christmas Morning pillars and floating candles.