Saturday, December 27, 2014

Santa’s helper

[“Santa Claus School”. Photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt. 1961. From the Life Photo Archive.]

The November 17, 1961 issue of Life ran a two-page photo essay on Charles Howard’s Santa Claus school in Albion, New York. The photograph above did not appear, but another one did, with this caption:

John Ray holds the diploma naming him a Santa’s helper. Next year he can work for B.S.C. degree. To get it he will have to present recommendations from customers and write 1,500-word thesis.
Charles Howard’s school, now based in Michigan, goes on.

[For The Crow: yes, Martha, there really is a Santa Claus School. I thought Elaine in Arkansas was wondering about that. No, it was Martha.]

comments: 5

Zhoen said...

Just read about John Smith, the Santa-hobo who wrote people huge checks during the depression.

Michael Leddy said...

What a wonderful story. Thanks, Zhoen.

Elaine said...

I had never heard of a Santa Claus School, although given some stories out there, we certainly do need some standards!
Ah, the _Smithsonian Magazine_ ....I stopped taking it, but it certainly was fascinating in the wonderful variety of topics. Alas, in later years it went with more 'short blurb'/People magazine format and lost its appeal for me.

The Crow said...

I forgot, when I first read this, to say thanks for the answers to my questions. I had gotten lost in reading all the other stories in that same issue. I now know more than I need to about Bernie Schwartz, for instance.

Thank you, Michael, for finding the answers. Also, I had to laugh when I read that John Ray was a retired Marine - doesn't fit the 'lean, mean' fightin' machine' image with which I am most familiar, but cool, nonetheless.

Michael Leddy said...

You’re welcome, Martha.

It’s easy to get lost in the Life archive, isn’t it?