Evermann puts up creche for 39 years
George Evermann is ready to retire.
For almost 40 years, he has been the man to put up the St. Gall Catholic Church’s nativity scene.
“Bonnie Borda used to put it up every year before we came here,” Evermann said. “I was new kid on the block. She introduced me into putting it up. I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Evermann, 87, and his late wife Marion moved to the Valley in 1958.
He thinks the nativity scene is 50 or 60 years old, and for the past 39 of those years, he has cleaned up the figures and repaired the scene as needed.
One Christmas season in the 1980s, St. Gall Church (now Carson Valley Tire in Gardnerville) caught fire. The church was saved, though damaged, and the figures were covered with soot and “black as coal,” Evermann said.
“In fact, we almost lost them,” he said. “They were going to throw them away. I rescued them and took them down to the senior center and the seniors cleaned them up.”
Evermann was director of the Gardnerville senior center for about 10 years and was instrumental in helping to develop the senior citizens programs in Carson Valley.
For many years, Evermann turned the lights on the nativity scene in the evenings, then returned to the church around midnight to turn them off.
The scene’s lights are on a timer nowadays.
Evermann and his son George S. (Steve) Evermann put up the St. Gall nativity scene on Saturday, carefully handling the old figures and manger scene.
“They’re gradually getting chipped and broken,” he said. “I’ve repaired them and glued them back together and repainted them. After one more year, I suggest they invest in something new and modern.
“I don’t think anybody else could put them back together but me.”
Evermann said he thinks it’s just about time he retired from the creche business, though he works two days a month at the church, helping with the books.
“As long as I’m physically able,” the octogenarian said, “I’ll hang in there.”
But, he said, this may be his last year to put up the nativity scene.
“I think 40 is a good time to retire. It’s time to get somebody else to do it besides me. There are a lot of new people coming in here, and some of them are real goers.”
Evermann has 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren and lives in Gardnerville.
“My Christmas list is getting a little longer every year,” he said.