Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Who Is Mrs. Claus?

While at an office Christmas party, we were all discussing family traditions for the holidays. After sharing our favorite and quirky traditions, I felt compelled to ask this question. What is Santa's wife's name? Someone quickly said "Mrs. Claus". I wasn't buying that one. I had to find the truth.

In the 1970 TV special Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town directors Rankin and Bass weaved this story. In Sombertown, Kris Kringle meets a school teacher named Jessica. Kris has to change his name to Santa and ends up marrying her. They also claim her middle name is Mary....

Digging deeper, a self proclaimed historian chronicled this account. In 1864, a beautiful servant girl named Adele was adopted by the von Hoerrneman's a Baltic-Prussian family. This family was well known as Spielzeugherstellers also known as toy makers. According to this source, Adele became Santa's wife.

I was not believing either of those stories. And then I found this next one. Not really a story but more of a historical account.

It revolves around Katherine Lee Bates [1859-1929], an American poet, writer, and educator. She is best remembered as writing the words to "America The Beautiful". As a poet, she is known for the "long" poem "Goody Santa Claus On A Sleigh Ride" [1889]. She is credited with the notion that Santa had a wife. The poem is written from Mrs. Claus point of view.

Prior to the 1820's there was no Santa Claus, only a non-secular Bishop St. Nicholas who brought the gifts to all the boys and girls. It was later that St. Nick made the transition to a secular Santa. And behind every jolly man is a good wife. Bates never gives her a name but this is a poem about equality between men and women.

Goody Santa Claus depicts Mrs. Claus as wanting to accompany Santa on his Christmas Eve trip to deliver his toys to all the girls and boys -- not a stay-at-home wife. Instead, Santa's wife takes a feminist stance, demanding credit for her hard work in making Christmas possible including cooking to make Santa plump.

Goody Santa Claus On A Sleigh Ride is a good read and should be included in your Christmas Eve repertoire. Although it does not settle the dispute of Mrs. Claus first name, it does give her a historical benchmark.

If you really want to know Mrs. Claus' first name..... here are a few.....
Carol, Gretchen, Mary, Jessica, Martha, Juliana, Seeki, Ahoop, and Bea.....
I guess we will never know.....

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Remembering Frank Cavallario

Alexandria Bay:

In 2012 I was given the opportunity to interview Frank and Connie Cavallario.  Our conversation starts when Frank was a young boy growing up on the families vegetable farm and continues as He and Connie begin the Family Restaurant business.

As you all know, Frank and the Cavallario families businesses  are Icons in Alexandria Bay. Anything I might say about Frank would not do him justice. This is what people are saying on FaceBook:

Frank was a great person and fellow Rotarian God Bless him

Thanks for the warmth, the grace and the memories all these many years, Frank. RIP. God bless

Frank and the other Cavallarios were always good friends and treated my father like family and my sisters and me also !! He was a great guy !! He did a lot for Alex. Bay !!

We are very sad at the passing of a great Gentelman in our community RIP Frankie God be with You and your Family

I just learned (from Facebook) that Frank Cavallario died this morning.I worked at the Chez and the Steakhouse all through high school and college. I like to tell people that everything I know, I learned from Frank and Connie. I was in their kitchen when we watched Jack Ruby kill Lee Harvey Oswald on tv.
Frank was a good husband, father, boss and friend.

Sorry to hear that. Definitely an icon of ABay. Glad he was there "overseeing" the food at our party two years ago. Send my regards to the family.

A good man indeed.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Changing Of The Guard

Alexandria Bay:

Tonight I attended the monthly village board meeting. The purpose of my visit? To thank the DPW for the work they did on a storm drainage culvert that empties into Otter Creek.

Tonight was also the first official meeting for Trustee's J. Erck and  A. Hunter. Even though they were not my candidates, they did win the election. They also deserve to be given the elbow room to perform their duties as their predecessors before them were given. Everyone deserves a chance to prove themselves.