My mother called them “The Boys”; I called them Uncle Dan and Uncle George. They were my heroes.
In December 1948, my parents moved us into a concrete block building they built for their new business. It became known in our family as “The Joint.” The building consisted of three rooms, a large “beer joint” area in the front half of the building and two rooms in the back for our apartment. The tiny living quarters consisted of a kitchen/eating area that also contained my daybed, and a bedroom for Mom and Dad with a bath attached.
That Christmas Eve both of my uncles were at the Joint playing shuffleboard while I watched. Finally, Mom made me go to bed, telling me Santa wouldn’t come as long as I was awake. Although I still wanted to believe in Santa, I was in kindergarten and had begun to hear whispering at school. I asked my uncles if Santa really existed. They assured me he did and promised to come get me so I could peek at Santa.
I was sound asleep when my uncles came rushing into the apartment waking me - Santa was here! They bundled me up in my blanket and carried me outside into The Joints parking lot. Santa was gone! “There he is! See the sleigh?” they pointed high into the night sky. “See? See?” But I couldn’t see the departing sleigh. We started to go back inside but my uncles gasped and pointed to proof that Santa had really been there. In the new fallen snow were imprints of the sleigh runners, reindeer hooves and Santa’s boot prints. That is why I believed in Santa for 2 more years.