Longtime friendship brings nativity scene to Lake Fork

Posted 12/30/21

Old friends can be a great blessing.

For Tim Suddarth and John Bowers that special relationship resulted in a most unique manner to celebrate the Christmas season. 

The two have maintained …

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Longtime friendship brings nativity scene to Lake Fork

Posted

Old friends can be a great blessing.

For Tim Suddarth and John Bowers that special relationship resulted in a most unique manner to celebrate the Christmas season. 

The two have maintained their friendship since high school, where they were both accomplished athletes in the San Antonio area. Suddarth, now retired from a career with AT&T, resides in Round Rock. Bowers and his wife make their home on Lake Fork.

Almost three years ago, Suddarth lost his mother, Marsha Lallky. As an only child, disposition of his mother’s belongings fell to him.  

So it was that he came into possession of a large nativity set. It was not of an off-the-shelf variety. The nativity set was purchased over several years by his mother from studio artist Joyce Langelier. 

The figures are large – Joseph is about five-feet tall – hand-painted on a wooden shape. The colors and texture are such that, although the figures are two dimensional, they give the appearance of being three dimensional. 

Over the years, Suddarth could count on getting a call to come and assist his mother  in setting up the nativity.

“It became a part of the Christmas season, to put them up in just the right place,” Suddarth recalled. In the last years of her life, they were displayed in the very small green area in front of her condominium.  “It really did not do them justice,” Suddarth admitted.

This year, Suddarth approached his friend of 40 years, John Bowers, about setting up the nativity on his property at Lake Fork. “It is a beautiful spot,” he admitted.

Bowers was happy to accommodate him. Bowers stated, “It was just something we could do to help a life-long friend, someone we love.”

The two came upon the idea of installing the nativity facing the lake. It seemed like the right thing to do, Suddarth admitted. They had hoped to give local fishermen some Christmas spirit, a moment of reflection and perhaps some divine intervention.

So, up it went. On Bowers’ property, in the Chaney Point area just west of the dam, the set is displayed facing the cove from a point on the shoreline. The illumination was hardwired and looks brilliant with the use of LED lighting. It is quite near the shoreline.    

Unfortunately, the low lake level has prevented the viewing opportunities which they had sought. They then decided that perhaps telling this story and sharing the adjacent photograph in the Monitor would give many fishermen an opportunity to see the display.

“We hope that people who see this receive some solace and Christmas spirit from it,” Suddarth stated.