Do you see cute little Santa sitting between my younger sister, Kristi, and I? I continue to hear the story of his arrival year after year. For some reason my dad has never forgotten how this jolly elf with a tiny coke bottle in his hand came to live at our house, but neither have I.
According to my dad's memory of the event, he was innocently driving down the road with his happy little family when he noticed that the car needed more gasoline. It seemed simple enough to pull into a nearby filling station for more, right? The way Dad tells it, it almost seems like a horror story but I remember it differently...
Dad pulled up to the pump and rolled down his window. Out of the station popped a friendly gas station attendant ready to put gas in the car, wash the windows, check the oil and, generally, be as helpful as possible.
He must have seen me sitting in the back seat and realized I was totally without a toy. What three year-old would want that? That nice young man left the gas running and ran as fast as he could back into the station. He was back in a flash. Now he was my hero, for in his hand was the cutest little Santa anyone had ever seen.
He proceeded to tell my dad how wonderful it would be if he would purchase the Santa for me. (After all, I deserved it!) What a great idea! Of course, I was all for it! For some strange reason, Dad wasn't impressed at all. I began to try to convince him which cause the attendant to have to speak louder and my dad to shake his head a little quicker.
Now, this is where our stories really begin to differ. Dad says I began to cry loudly when I realized that my hero might loose the debate and have to return to the station with my Santa! Surely not! I thought we were just having a conversation about the benefits of having our own personal Santa come to live with us.
Eventually, I made my point and Dad agreed to buying Santa AND the tank of gasoline. For some reason, I don't think Dad liked my hero as much as I did. He talked to Mom about that attendant for quite awhile on the way home. Oh well, what did it really matter? I no longer felt alone with my new friend, red velvet suit, shiny black boots and belt and silky white beard and all, sitting on my lap.
Just look how happy I am!