One morning I was in a restaurant for breakfast. I was sitting at
the counter next to Santa Claus.
It was close to Thanksgiving when people were starting to think about Christmas. Santa was smoking a cigarette. He saw a kid come in with his mother. He moved the ash tray in front of me and said, "Santa doesn't smoke so this is your cigarette."
The kid came right up to him and said, "Santa, what are you doing here?"
He said, "I am going around checking my list to see if you are being a good boy. What would you like for Christmas young man."
The kid happily told him and mama looked happy that she did not have to wait in the Santa line at the mall
For the next week Santa and I had breakfast together and he told me his story. I hope I can find him when the time comes to start the rehab center. He said he knew people that could help and he too would help me.
Once a lady came up to Santa and said, "Santa, you are my last hope. I live in Birmingham, Alabama my son who is 14 ran away from home. I am sure that he came to Detroit. Please, help me Santa."
With information she supplied he did some checking and he found her son. He talked to him and convinced him to go home. He took him to the motel to see his mother and talked to them both about their problems.
He told me that he got a letter from her a few months later and that the son was doing well in school and they were very happy. I looked in his eyes and I could see the happiness that we was there to help.
Before he became Santa he had a massive heart attack. While in the hospital the doctors and nurses commented on how he looked like Santa Claus. He was going to have surgery and the odds for recovery were about 50/50. He prayed and told God that if the operation was a success, he would take vacation time from Thanksgiving to Christmas of and play Santa Claus.
Every year he would rent a red Lincoln with a white interior and go to the schools as Santa. He also went to rehab centers and hospitals. During the rest of the year he was available for schools too.
It was surprising how many kids would come up to him.
© Copyright 2001 Lee W. Gaylord