Monday, December 24, 2012

A Santa Claus Icon

This jolly old guy lived on top of Santa's Candy Kitchen on Santa Claus Lane in Carpinteria for 52 years.  A big Frosty the Snowman kept him company a few stores down.  Such roadside attractions were all the rage in the 50's and 60's when mom, dad and the kids hopped into their new Ford station wagon for that annual family vacation.   Anyone traveling on the 101 between Los Angeles and San Francisco back then, remembers this 20 foot icon with nostalgia.

My travel buddy grew up in Carp.  As a teenager he worked on Santa Claus Lane at St. Nick's Cafe, washing dishes.  Like many locals, he was deeply saddened when Santa became too unstable to stay afloat.  It came down in 2002.  Since then, he has found a new home along the same freeway, a few miles down in Oxnard.  Local businesses now sponsor a toy drive every Christmas on the vacant lot pictured above.  Santa has been repaired and repainted.  Happily, he continues to salute us on our annual trips down Memory Lane.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
May all your travel wishes come true.

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