Sunday, December 20, 2009

Santa 2009

Every year, starting clear back before I joined the Redway fire department, (Joined in 1973) Santa has been hauled around town on the old American LaFrance fire engine. Nobody is sure when the tradition started, but I remember when I was a kid the Old Lafrance and Santa would make the rounds in Redway.

In all of the years that I have been one of Santa's helpers we have never been rained out. We have had rain before and after, and some days we've had light rain, several times we've had freezing cold, or windy weather, but we've never been rained out. Several years we had large beach umbrellas up to stave off the mist, but nope... never been rained out!

The Photo card at the top is By Kim Sallaway. The pretty woman at Santa's side is Yvonne, Kim's helper.



This is how you back up the LaFrance. You set the hand throttle, shift into reverse, then let the clutch out. When the truck starts to move backwards, you step out on the running-board and steer the truck backwards. The truck moves at about one-mile per hour.
Photo of me, Ernie, driving. By Pete Genolio.

There are so many kids at the Orchard Street Apartments that Santa got off the truck to talk to them and ask what they wanted for Christmas. The speaker system on the escort truck was playing loud Christmas music. The kids found it to be very amusing when Santa broke out dancing to Jingle Bell Rock. It broke the ice for the little True-Santa-Believers, and instead of being so painfully shy, they were willing to ask him for what they wanted for Christmas.
Photo by Ernie's cell phone
Photo by Pete Genolio's cell phone.

After all of the candy canes were passed out, we sent Santa Back to the North Pole, and parked the LaFrance. We all went home and put on our best clothes and met back at the Redway Fire Hall for a Christmas dinner and party. We ate, made speeches, past out awards, did Karaoke, and danced until the new day was upon us.

Merry Christmas!
Ernie

10 comments:

suzy blah blah said...

dear Billy,
you wont answer my phone calls but i know your sister sometimes reads this blog so maybe you'll get my message ... Merry Christmas dude, i'm pregnant and i'm livin in Santa Cruz now. Believe it or not i quit smoking dope and drinkin. And i gotta new boyfriend too, a bass player in a hiphop band/ he says that he loves me even though it's not his baby, he says he'll raise him like his own. We go out dancing every night and have sooo much fun! but Billy i still think about you baby --everytime i see a black toyota pickup truck go by. And i almost went crazy Billy, after my folks disowned me when i got busted with my car full of weed last month in Santa Rosa and mom said it was the last straw and called me reckless and stupid and wouldn't bail me out any more, but Billy baby, i think i'm happy now, even without all the money we made growin dope. but Billy, and anyone else listenin, if you really wanta know the truth of it --i aint got no new bass player boyfriend, and i'm so broke i don't even have a radio or cd player down here silent night, holy night
and the fact is, the only dude i even talk to any more is my lawyer, and i know you're not thinkin of me in your hall decked with holly, all kicked back with your new fat girl friend, sipping brandy and eggnog and smoking volcanoes but, so anyway dude have a good one, and if i never see you again, this is Suzy signing off sayin...
fa la la la la, la la la la,
s

ROSS SHERBURN said...

ERNIE,i love the PICS!! BTW,what year is that LaFrance???

Ernie Branscomb said...

Suzy
You can write here anytime you feel like it. Your subjects are usually more pertinent to the world than mine anyway. I'm sorry to hear that you have troubles. If we can help tell us how.

Ross, 1937. The truck has been in Redway since 1955.

ROSS SHERBURN said...

THANKS ERNIE,thats a pretty new RIG!!!WEAVER&CORNING have older RIGS!!!LOL!

SUZY,i don't know what to tell YA??? JUST HANG IN THERE!
i've never smoked DOPE,but i've got a good BEER belly GOIN'

Ernie Branscomb said...

"i've never smoked DOPE,but i've got a good BEER belly GOIN'"


Ross, that's hilarious. Take a good look and that guy standing on the running board. You and I have a lot in common.

I may not smoke dope, but I think that I have a darn good life. The people that used to live around here didn't need weed to be happy. Now that everybody has “The Medicine” it doesn't seem to me that they are any happier. But, we sure had some good times without it. I've always said that I was going to try it as soon as they run out of beer.

Anonymous said...

Suzy, I'm with Ernie. If we can do anything just holler. You always made me smile with your fancy bird track marks you've made at this post and I even understood what you were saying.
Wishing you well.

Oregon

ROSS SHERBURN said...

like OREGON or WASHINGTON? said?
keep posting here,you have many friends here!!!!!

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear that Suz. How can your blogfam help?

Anonymous said...

"There, but for the grace of God, go I."

spyrock said...

sorry to hear that you are having a hard time this xmas. i have the same kind of thing going on with mother's day. that's when my ex told me she was leaving me after 25 years of marriage for an old school chum she reunited with on the internet living in miami. there's a movie out called "the other man" with liam and antonio which is somewhat like what happened to me. then i met dove whose husband mike died in a boating accident in the delta the same mothers day just over 2 years after he passed on. so there was a time period where i was by myself and had to make some decisions. one was to let go of my ex and the other was to get on with my own life. i didn't go to santa cruz, i went to san francisco the night before the bay to breakers and met this kid at a fire on the beach who told me that he was having the time of his life living in the city after he came home and found his best friend in bed with his wife. i asked him where he was from and he said the same town that i live in. go figure. indirectly, someone was telling me to let go of her. and i really had no choice anyway. so i let go and went with the flow. and its been downstream since then and everything is flowing my way.
so just let go babe. just let go.