Historian Michael Beschloss in his special piece for the New York Times – How Santa Claus Ended Up on Norad’s Radar – has a reminder of sixty faithful years of Norad tracking Santa. Like the famous letter from Virginia O’Hanlon in 1897 asking for confirmation of the existence of Santa in the New York Sun, the holiday tradition of following Santa’s route resulted from a youngster’s request – this time in 1955 from a little boy with a phone call.
The famous red telephone with the sinister ring threatening war, actually did ring one night. The Russians attacking? No, a child asking to speak to Santa. A misprint in a newspaper ad had led the caller to the command post in Colorado. As a result, the chief of operations, Colonel Shoup, a father of three small children, managed the mistake into a public relations coup, and the tracking of Santa’s route was initiated.
Now an annual tradition, tracking Santa in his sleigh makes the news every Christmas Eve, and you can follow him yourself at Norad Tracking Santa
In addition to Clement Moore’s “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” my favorite Christmas poem is “The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus” by Ogden Nash. Enjoy – and “you better watch out” this Christmas Eve – “Santa Claus is coming to town.”
Happy Anniversary to me! It was one year ago that I started writing this blog.
I was thinking about scam artists in Debra Ginsberg’s The Grift this time last year. Yesterday, a panhandler came up to my car in the Safeway parking lot, asking for a handout. Scared the Starbucks cup right out of me as I hurriedly locked my car door. Directing her to the Salvation Army bell-ringer, I noticed her designer bag – maybe it was a knock-off?
And I was vicariously climbing Mt. Kenya on Christmas Eve last year, reading Anita Shreve’s new book – A Change in Altitude.
One year later, she has another new book that has me in its clutches – Rescue.
I always look forward to Shreve’s newest book, just as I am sure you have authors you would bribe to write faster to get that next book out.