Hanging Christmas lights on courthouse building a 30-year ritual for Nathan Pagan

Although long retired from his job as a maintenance technician/grounds keeper at the Mohave County Courthouse, Nathan Pagan still considers it his responsibility to hang the light display that spells the word, "NOEL" on the front of the courthouse building every year.

"I've been doing it for 30 years, and I plan to keep doing it until the day I die," Pagan said.

Pam Bibich, the Kingman precinct constable, hopes that won't be anytime soon.

"He has been doing this for as long as I can remember, and I have been working in this courthouse for 25 years," Bibich said.

"He deserves some recognition."

Bibich said she can remember when Pagan worked at the courthouse, located at 401 E.

Spring St.

"He would go out and cut down a tree, bring it inside the courthouse and decorate it, and hang up all the outside lights too," she said.

Retired for about 15 years, Pagan said he was told to stop bringing in the tree years before he retired because at that time a 9-foot Christmas tree inside the building was considered to be a fire hazard.

However, that didn't stop him from continuing the somewhat hazardous tradition of hanging the light display on the 20-foot columns in front of the building.

"Back then we used a 20-foot ladder to hang the lights all the way to the top of the pillars," he said.

"But that was too dangerous, so we have figured out a way to do it without the tall ladder."

The "we" Pagan refers to is friend Ed Jares, a Peach Springs No.

8 principal from 1957 to 1974.

Jares is also retired and has been helping Pagan with the project for about the last 15 years.

The two have devised a way of hanging the 200-bulb light display in three sections using an 8-foot ladder for the top section.

There is a switch on each of the four pillars that controls the dusk to dawn lights that make up the display.

The two men say they look forward to the ritual of putting up the light display every Christmas.

During the rest of the year, Pagan keeps busy doing carpentry work around the house and fulfilling his wife's "Honey-do" list of things she wants him to do.

"I like to keep busy," he said.