A jingle for Kris Kringle

“Slim” Dickens, fourth and illegitimate cousin of Charles


Clement Clarke Moore penned “A Visit from St. Nicholas” in 1822 and what pleasure it gives; seventy-five years later Francis P. Church wrote to Virginia O’Hanlon “Oh yes, Santa lives!” Their works became classics; each year the world says “Thanks!” and in a lonely Reno garret an obscure writer tries to break into their ranks, sending Holiday greetings to column readers, like

            One Cobb known as Bill and the other as Ty, one Clifton named Darrell and another named Guy; Jenny Brekhus and Pat Cashill, so full of the Blarney; Cal and Karen Pettengill, and our elf Caroline Darney. Joe and Penny Mayer and Dave and Nikki Chism grace our poem every time, Santa fondly remembers Gayle and Chris Wassenburg but like Gene Pascucci and Linda Patrucco they’re damn tough to rhyme,            

Jack Harker, Phyllis Wetsel, my sons Brent and Ron; Brent’s Laura, Ron’s Amy and the Rusks, Wally and Dawn. A sleigh for my grandkids Julia, Amelia, Jackie and Andy; a toast to Steve Rucker and the Scotts, Ben and Sandy. Jolly Bob Cashell looks sharp in his Santa Claus suit, while we say Weihnachten to the Nikoley brothers, Wolfgang, Hans, Uwe, Ingo and Lute. Ken Shelley and the Nugget’s Nancy Trabert, now wait, hold the phone; at the Coney Island we see Sally and at Simon’s it’s Sloane!            

Two nogs for two Kathys, (Breckenridge and Kershaw) and Michele and Woody Barry, four more for Holly and Merle Schneider and the Hornings, Sandy and Larry. From the Historical Society, Sheryln Hayes-Zorn, Mike Maher, Arline Lafery and Phil Earl ask “what’s shakin?” while up on the rooftop, it’s Ted and Sue Schroeder, and foxy Tara Price with Kim and Jack Bacon,              

Dave and Toddy Cutler, Ron Mestre and Don Young the Chief, hear the elves all holler to Luther Mack at once, “Where’s the beef?” Lou and Eva Mastos, and in San Francisco, Janet and Paul Meaney; the Black Bear Diner’s John O’Looney toasts Brickie’s Steve Senini.      

We send Season’s Greetings to the Ginsburgs, ol’ Dave and his Pam; to Laura and Norm Dianda, and the Francoviches, Diane and Sam. Wassail to Clare Holland, to Jim and Mike Blakely (Maria and Kay); two Neils (Cobb and Brooks), Gaye Delaplane and our friend John Gascue. Circling the North Pole in the XoJet it’s Cort and Nancy de Peyster, flying Eric and Meri Yarborough, (she’s my little see-ster.)             

I tip my hat to my editors, Kelly Ann Scott and Peggy Santoro, it’s hard to believe two fine ladies could be so fetching, and yet be so thorough! Another cup of cheer to our new mayor Hillary Schievy, while down at AT&T Park, the World Champ Giants shout “You Gotta Believ-ey!” [sorry…]            

To Jim Colgan and Elaine, to Jim Henry and Lee and of course Sherrie and Jim Corica; to John and Aliceann Doyle, Jackie and Bill Berrum and to Hannah Satica. G.O.D. Club’s Harry and Anne Spencer with their tall young son Zack; is that a tiny child in the manger? Why no, it’s a little Pine, name of Jack. James Ball took our picture, Jack Harpster wrote our book, stylish Jim and Patricia Rowe are always worth a look! Rusty and Judy Nash stay in touch, as does Laura Longero, and Michael Fischer’s a historian who’s forgotten more than I know,            

Tom Cook, Janet Lerude and her husband name of Warren, are all out caroling with Van Vinikow and a House name of Lauren. On Santa’s lap our Ellen Fockler is all smiles, and waiting in his line are Larry Heward and Jean Myles. Dee Garrett, Kelley Shewmaker and Cliffy Devine make this poem every year, count on Rose and John Ascuaga with Tony and Polly Scheuller to harness eight reindeer,            

Ted Stoever, Tom Case, two Georges (Fraser and Peek), land their sleigh on the rooftop with nary a squeak. We remember Linda Milabar and the good little girls Jackie Stoever, Lynn Case and Karen Fraser, and we’ll all lift a tankard for Suzi Jensen, Paul Kautz and Judy Vaughn for good measure. Craig Morrison throws another Yule log on the fire, and curled up before it are Al and Dolly McVey, and Catherine Oppio with Doc Jim Megquier,            

Comes now the Stockwell twins, Danny and Donny, toasting the ol’ redheaded Kittells, Red and fair Connie. Golfin’ Leo Seevers and Diane his inamorata, both follow my Gazoo page-mates Anne Pershing and Patty Cafferata. Well now, there’s Big Al and Pat Crawley, and Cecilia Pearce all according to Hoyle, all in an open sleigh with Joyce Taylor, Daryl Pelizzari and Irene and Kenny Doyle. Nick and Karen Miller stopped by for a beer, when who to our wondering eyes did appear, Jon and Linda Madsen with Tom and DaePaula Saulnier!            

Kathy and here-come-da-Judge Peter Breen, then Jim and Merle Bronson, editor Rick Hoover and our favorite, Lee Green. Skip and Nillsine Hansen and Jim and Yvonne Thornton boom out ho-ho-ho!, while Denis Graham does his all to get his Maggie ‘neath the mistletoe,            

Ginny Topol, Roberta Grinsell, Buddy and Trish Sorensen and Terry Markwell, and Tom and Bonda Young lift a schooner of Nevada Gold with Vance and Marilyn Bell. Lou and Eva Mastos, Dave Carbon and his Jeannie, and Elsie and Roger Gurr toast our man in Sparks, Geno Martini,  

And that’s our annual poem, we’ve written ‘em before, but unlike New York Sun editor Church and college professor Moore, immortality’s not knockin’ at our door. I can’t name you all, it changes year-to-year, but if we missed your name our kindest regards go to you anyway and next Sunday we’ll all meet right here!

2 thoughts on “A jingle for Kris Kringle

  1. From my email sent 12-22
    Good morning, Karl,
    This morning I finally gathered up Sunday’s paper and sat down at the dining room table with a cup of coffee to read it. I felt like a celebrity when I saw my name in your column and it made me smile. Thank you…I needed that this morning (I am sure I’m not the only one). Love the photo, too. And, how did you get the snowfall on your website? Now, if only it will do that for real.
    Is Van still playing at CVS on Christmas Eve?
    Thank you again…your friend, Phyllis

    • Nice to hear from you, Phyllis, as always; the snowfall is added by WordPress. It’s kind of cool because the snowflakes follow your cursor – move the mouse around and the flakes will move with it! Christmas love, Karl

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