But Santa needs a chimney doesn’t he? It was simple to surmise there was a serious problem here. The problem was not only one of utility and movement up and down but access. Access as in a convenient entry and subsequent distribution of goods. And If I, an entry-level elementary student, could see this puzzling dilemma of logistics then surely my fully-grown Okie parents could see as well.
It was 1950 and to offer an explanation for my first grade thesis, we had in our tiny East Los Angeles living room a fake fireplace. A drone. A recessed plaster façade. It was obvious to the average Okie there were no gnarly oaken logs, no brick hearth, and no sooty flew or chimney for up and down passage. Therefore, not a real fireplace. Thus, not a point of entry for a short elfish fat guy. Certainly entrance conundrums enough to cause me much worry if not launch me directly into a vexing puzzlement. Boy howdy!
Nonetheless, setting down below the wooden mantle in a hollowed out wall space was a stand-alone gas heater where a fireplace should be. The gas heater was our sole source of heat for our entire little house and must remain lit over night. Above the wooden mantle, was an electric clock set into a polished solid mahogany hull of a two-mast schooner with Chrome metal sails bellowing out and appearing to be in full sail over the mantle of our fake fireplace. A mantle on which stockings were hung with care.
So, without needing to say, none of these charming but counterfeit living room amenities were much encouragement for a six-year old boy of Okie heritage. Especially an Okie boy, me butch, looks for an easy entrance for the Santa guy. You know, the Santa Clause man who is A shortish fat guy with bags of toys. So, I knew the real Santa story and how he gains entry. But the access was not right at our house. No snow. No chimney. Our roof was flat with the exception of our TV’s antenna. None the less, my little Okie boy’s crude good sence told me no way Jose. Santa had no easily discernible access coming down from the sky onto our little squarish flat roof East L A adobe home. However, our front porch was wide and possibly accommodating and accessible from our front driveway. As far as I know there are no rules about landing Santa’s sleigh on a drive way. Right? Therefore if the front door was left unlock, perhaps then Santa Clause could make his way easily and walk in to our tiny living room where our tiny tree is, put down his big red bag of wrapped presents, pull out many toys, and leave out through the same door. I’m sure, as brilliant as Santa is, he could solve this dilemma easily on his own. Just a little bit of elf and magic. Sounds like a reasonable plan to me. Don’t you think huh? .
Note left at front door:
Please don’t ring the doorbell. This could wake up my mom and dad. Just lift the latch, the door will be left unlock so just come on in, and leave as many toys as you wish. Thanks in advance. With warm regards, Butch