Here is an interesting story from Fleet Society Director John Pullin who recently attended the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Chicago. Our Director (see photo below) was having dinner when (in his own words) this occurred:
“I went to a brew pub in Chicago for an early dinner. There was a mother, father and young boy (about 5 years old) sitting at a table across from me. The boy was looking at me and his parents followed suit, both smiling. They got out a piece of paper and began to talk to the boy as his mother was writing on the paper. After a while the mother and boy came up to me and then mother told me her son was sure that I was Santa. I told him he could tug on my beard for establishing authenticity (which he did). We chatted for a moment and then he handed me his Christmas list (which his parents wrote for him) but in his best printing he signed it ‘Michael’. I told him to be sure there was no fire in the fireplace Christmas Eve. His mother laughed and said to Michael ‘tell him what your daddy said would happen if we had a fire Christmas Eve’. Michael said ‘you will burn your butt’.”
That little story from John would have been good enough to write up for our newsletter, but what happened after that really makes this a special story. Here is what occurred the following day:
“At my hotel the next day I went down to breakfast at around 9:00 AM. The front lobby and desk areas were buzzing with checkouts, shuttle bus folks waiting and breakfast diners ordering their chow. As I approached the lobby area the manager (a woman of maybe 40) and her two front desk ladies were busy as bees. The manager looked up, spotted me and poked the other two ladies to get their attention. She then whispered something and the three of them were looking at me. I was bewildered as they were unquestionably focused on me. The manager approached me with a smile and said ‘Have you had your breakfast yet?’ I told her that I had not and she said ‘Well, we would like to buy you breakfast’. I replied, sure, what is the occasion? She told me that the three of them (her and the two front desks ladies) left work yesterday and went to the brew pub. She went on to say that they saw the mother and little boy approach me while I was having dinner. Furthermore, they saw the little boy tug on my beard and hand me a list which they were sure was his Christmas list. ‘ You were so nice to him’ she said, ‘ you gave him time and we could see his excitement. We were almost in tears. We wanted to tell you how kind you were and want to buy you breakfast’. Bacon and eggs on a bagel, coffee and orange juice.”
A great and uplifting story. Many thanks to Fleet Society Director, John Pullin for sharing this story with us. John resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he is known locally as the Santa Fe Santa.