Cook brings Christmas joy in June

Published 11:55 pm Monday, June 19, 2017

Call us softhearted, call us emotional, but we’ve long believed every human being is on this earth for a reason.

We are all here to help one another and use our unique talents to do so.

With wood, power tools, paint and some perspiration, a kind, devoted Natchez resident is working feverishly through the summer to paint snow-filled scenes, elves and more, all for the love and enjoyment of others.

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Craftsman Burnley Cook is volunteering to repair, rebuild and refurbish the City of Natchez’s broken and dingy Christmas decorations.

Many of the displays originated with the locally famous Christmas displays from the former International Paper Company’s Natchez mill.

For literally decades, beginning in the 1950s until the mill closed, the Christmas displays, created by former IP worker the late Lanus Hammack delighted generations of children and adults alike.

We believe Hammack would be proud of the work Cook is doing to bring the magic of Christmas back to life again.

The displays are nostalgic, a throwback if you will, to a Christmas season almost forgotten. It’s a Christmas of child-like dreams and memories that are devoid of smart phones, online retailers and 24-7 electronic devices that pull for our attention.

With simple wood, electric motors, paint and some loving craftsmanship, Christmas comes alive again.

We applaud Cook’s efforts in helping restore the pieces and say thanks. We encourage anyone who is able to donate to his efforts through his GoFundMe page using the title: Restoring the old IP Displays.

It may be the hot, sticky month of June, but the joy of Christmas is alive and well in Cook’s shop — and his giving heart.