Lacking a fireplace, I mailed my letters to Santa Claus at the post office in downtown Fentress. My list of preferred gifts was always extensive. I knew I wouldn’t get everything I wanted, but there was no harm in asking.
One year Santa wrote back. As proof, I’m posting not only the letter he wrote, but the envelope as well. Judging from the postmark and the reference to Sputnik, I’d just turned six.
It takes a lot of stamps to get a letter from the North Pole to Texas.
It also helps when your Uncle Joe is the postmaster.
During the Cold War, the colonel was commander of the Continental Air Defense Command (now NORAD). In case of an attack on the United States, he would have been the first to receive word.
Colonel Shoup was at his desk that day in 1955 when NORAD assumed the task of following the progress of Santa’s sleigh. But the new responsibility wasn’t ordered by President Eisenhower or any of the colonel’s military superiors.
The job resulted from a typographical error–one little mistake whose happy consequences are still being felt nearly sixty years later.
From the Storycorps website: “StoryCorps is a national nonprofit that gives people the chance to interview friends and loved ones about their lives. These conversations are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, allowing participants to leave a legacy for future generations. Learn more, including how to interview someone in your life, at StoryCorps.org.”