Craic agus ceol

On Saturday, February 13, Maria and I were back in Bristol for fun and music with friends Fiddler Marie, and her guitar-playing mom, with Chris on bodhrán, while proprietor Maryann made sure the complimentary food and beverages were plentiful all night.

Marie, her mom, Chris, and Maria

Sketchy Santas

In early-December ’09, Slate.com linked to a site called Sketchy Santas where I spent fun browsing time.

Having previously digitally scanned a few photos of my and JP’s Santa experiences, I submitted one to the website and a few days later they posted it. Fast forward to February ’10, and I’ve been notified that my photo has been chosen as a candidate for the forthcoming Sketchy Santas book. I’ve already signed the legal mumbo-jumbo and the publishing date is scheduled for later this year. That’s right. If all goes well, coffee table browsing might include the photo below.

It’s December 1969, I’m four, JP is nine, and we’re at the A&S department store in Brooklyn, where we went every year to worship at the lap of Santa.

I have a good memory, but strangely don’t recall much about my Santa visits over the years—maybe because I never bought the sell that this guy in this department store was the guy. The only two memories I have are the year that I could see Santa’s black mustache hiding under his white cotton beard, and the year that the long and snaking line through A&S eventually split in two—one for a white Santa, one for a black Santa. The elves deftly ushered us to the white Santa.

This post from December ’07 includes all three scanned Santa photos, plus a bonus cherubic/angelic snapshot taken in our Brooklyn apartment by young-photographer-Bill. The reason I submitted this particular Santa photo to the site is because, of the three, this one has the sketchiest-looking Santa. The photo of me crying is funny, but that Santa isn’t as sketchy (though he does resemble Jon Voight). The photo where I’m dazed into Santa submission also doesn’t represent a Sketchy Santa (though he does resemble Tim Allen). Our Winning Sketchy Santa looks like a retired cop.

I did have an issue with the website—lots of accepted photos didn’t necessarily represent a sketchy Santa, but instead represented screaming children. The name of the site is Sketchy Santas, not Santa Terrified Me and I Have a Photo to Prove It.