Windows on the World of Raymond Plank
Founder, Apache Corp

Vol. 2016 No. 5

The Spirit of Christmas

The spirit of Christmas surrounds us here in Ucross, Wyo.  Snow and a deep cold spell reduced the Christmas attendance at the Chapel and Center in the Park at Ucross where the electric utility company had strung over 20,000 glorious Christmas lights on the spruce and high on the cottonwoods.  It was splendid, but only around fifty persons were at hand.  Christmas fireworks had been cancelled as wind and temperatures were twenty degrees below zero and colder in the blowing snow.

In my Ucross home Christmas is everywhere; the Bose equipment plays Christmas music even as I write this, it’s Bing Crosby singing a series of carols.  Shortly it will be the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with its magnificent voices well into the spirit of Christmas.

Joe Reed’s daughter, Sarah, and a tall young man strung several strings of multi colored Christmas lights along the little bridge across Piney Creek to my gazebo; it’s on at dark, and off again with the light of day.

On the dining room table, a lovely Cypress live tree wrapped with lights about three feet high which is activated by a battery.  As the live tree grows this spring it will sit on the porch by my front door until it’s somewhat taller for planting.  Thank you, David Flynn.

In the living room sits an artificial tree four feet tall, all white lights around which gifts believed not to be perishable await Christmas Day.

Best wishes to you all for a very Merry Christmas and a splendid 2017!


I close with a letter to Rex Tillerson, Exxon’s Chairman and C.E.O. and Donald Trump’s excellent pick for Secretary of State.


Dear Rex,


Thanks to you and Renda for the lovely Christmas card.  It is also my fervent hope that you become the next Secretary of State.  Your qualifications match the person and family you are, and would be outstanding for the U.S. and the world in which we might better function seeking peace and cooperation versus death and destruction.  One step at a time to “Make America Great Again.”


Merry Christmas and God Bless,


Ray Plank