Local man, 95, ‘lights up’ his neighborhood for the holidays
BY PATTI SELLS | News-Telegram Feature Writer
Dec 3, 2007 - It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – especially on Gail Street where every home is adorned with decorations and lots and lots of lights thanks to one jolly old elf.
95-year-old Finis Attlesey has lived in the neighborhood for more than 25 years.
�I love all my neighbors and they like me pretty well, too, I think,� said Attlesey, who took it upon himself 9 years ago to purchase all the lights, many of the decorations, and pays each year to have them put up. �I don�t do nothing but chew tobacco. I�ll be 96 on my next birthday, Sept. 6.�
Growing up in Reilly Springs, Attlesey said that Christmas time is his favorite time of year. Not only does he light up his neighborhood, he also makes sure lights go up at Reilly Springs Cemetery, where many of his relatives are buried.
Two angels set to a timer light up at dusk, along with lights across the cemetery’s gated entryway.
On Gail Street, a metal archway covered with lights crosses over the street and marks the entry into the neighborhood. Wooden angels stand poised on each side proclaiming the neighborhood as a Winter Wonderland, seemingly inviting members of the community to drive by and join in the Christmas spirit of its residents.
�He does it because he enjoys doing it for his neighbors and the community,� said LaNeva Skeen, one of Attlesey longtime caretakers.�
The two reminisce about their childhood Christmases, recalling cutting down trees off their own properties and decorating them with popcorn and red berries.
�There weren�t no electricity back then,� Attlesey said with a laugh.
Times have changed, however, and lights are aglow on Gail Street and throughout Sulphur Springs.