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Nobody Believed I Was Santa


I was a beanpole, skinny as a chair leg. Fresh out of school, my first job was selling ads for the Rolla Daily News. The boss told me to find a Santa Claus for Hillcrest Shopping Center. Nobody wanted to do it. So I put on the Santa suit myself. Day after day, all day long, small children would look at me with their first dose of disgust and say, “You’re not Santa.” Second most humiliating time of my life.

…and to all a good night.


  1. Bill Shireman
    Bill Shireman12-27-2017

    Been reading your book “A Road Trip Into America’s Hidden Heart” Thoroughly enjoying it.
    Sorry to report the “Highway House” in Ava is no longer there.

    • J.R.

      Sad. But I’m still working with the owner’s daughter! Thanks for the update, and the positive comments on the book!

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