Slim Randles' Home Country
Santa will find you, no matter where you are
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[December 15, 2014]
years now, Herb Collins has been helping Santa by donning the red
and the beard and the tassels and waving to passing cars on
Christmas Eve out at the Old Fort Road crossing.
He takes a bag of candy along, in case anyone cares to stop, and
he also takes his daughter Cindy along, because she’s always been
his head elf. Cindy’s grown now and has helpers of her own, but this
has been a daddy/daughter event for a long time and neither sees any
reason to quit.
He had done it a few years and was wondering why he was doing it
when one special Christmas Eve, as it snowed, he found his reason.
While he and Cindy stood in full-blown elf gear alongside the road,
a pickup pulling a moving trailer pulled up and stopped. Cindy
brought the candy over to the truck and Herb reached his hands
through the window to shake hands with the young boy and girl who
were in there with their dad. Both kids were crying and grinning and
grabbing his hands.
“Santa,” the father said, “we’re moving across the country tonight,
and the kids were sure you wouldn’t be able to find them since they
were between homes.”
Herb swallowed. “Now kids,” he said, “you know Santa will find you
no matter where you are tonight.”
[to top of second
“Really?” the girl said.
“Why, sure. So you just be good and help your dad, and I’ll find
you, don’t you worry.”
“Oh thank you, Santa!” they said.
Their father mouthed a silent “thank you,” and everyone waved as the
truck went on down the road toward Christmas.
It must have been the raw wind that made Herb wipe the tears away.
“That made the whole thing worth it,” Herb says when he tells of
that special night. “That’s why I keep going back out there.”
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