(1) We’re shifting to Scroll Your Own for a couple days while I spend the holiday at my brother’s. Thanks for Cat for his essay and birthdays.
(2) MEMORY LANE.
[By Cat Eldridge.] America’s First Santa Statue
You didn’t think we’d would have anything special for Christmas, did you? But we do, let’s tell you about America’s first Santa Statue, and it’s a really big one.
At the time, the statue was the center of Santa Claus Park, the bitter rival of Santa Claus Park, just a few hundred yards down the road. They’re located in Santa Claus, Indiana. No, I am not kidding. It really is legally called that.
Carl Barrett, the owner of that Park claimed that he spared no expense in constructing his Santa, unlike his rival, and claimed that his Santa was constructed out of Mt. Arly granite. Alas he was a liar as the concrete that it was made of started falling apart with a few years. Spectacularly.
Barrett insisted his entire life that it was granite despite photos that clearly showed the crumbling concrete it was made of. The Koch family, which owns Santa Claus Land, yet another Christmas theme Park, (now renamed Holiday World) bought this property and sandblasted layers of unnecessary paint off the statue, returning Santa to his original ghostly whiteness.
Neither of the other two Santa Claus Parks lasted all that long. Barrett left town, out of business after a series of legal actions were won by Harris. The courtroom victories, however, cost Harris too much time and money. His Santa Claus Town never grew much beyond just one attraction. By the Fifties, both were gone. But Santa Claus is now lighted up year round courtesy of the Koch Family.
(3) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
- Born December 25, 1924 — Rod Serling. Best remembered for the original and certainly superior Twilight Zone and Night Gallery with the former winning an impressive three Hugos. He’s also the screenwriter or a co-screenwriter for Seven Days in May, a very scary film indeed, as well as The New People series, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, A Town Has Turned to Dust, UFOs: Past, Present, and Future and Planet of the Apes. ISDB lists a lot of published scripts and stories by him. (Died 1975.)
- Born December 25, 1939 — Royce D. Applegate. His best known role was that of Chief Petty Officer Manilow Crocker on the first season of seaQuest DSV. He’s got appearances in Quantum Leap, Twin Peaks (where he played Rev. Clarence Brocklehurst), Tales of the Unexpected and Supertrain. Yes, Supertrain. (Died 2003.)
- Born December 25, 1938 — Dick Miller. He appeared in over a hundred films including every film directed by Joe Dante. You’ve seen him in both Gremlins, The Little Shop of Horrors, Terminator, The Howling, Small Soldiers, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Amazon Women on the Moon, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm where he voiced the gravelly voiced Chuckie Sol and Oberon in “The Ties That Bind” episode of Justice League Unlimited. (Died 2019.)
- Born December 25, 1945 — Rick Berman, 77. Loved and loathed in equal measures, he’s known for his work as the executive producer of Next Gen, Deep Space Nine which is my fav Trek series, Voyager and Enterprise which he co-created with Brannon Braga. He’d be lead producer on the four Next Generation films: Generations which I find boring, First Contact (which I really like), Insurrection and Nemesis.
- Born December 25, 1952 — CCH Pounder, 70. She’s had one very juicy voice role running through the DC Universe from since Justice League Unlimited in 2006. If you’ve not heard her do this role, it worth seeing the animated Assault on Arkham Asylum which is far superior to the live action Suicide Squad film to hear her character Amanda Waller, The Wall. She also had a recurring role as Mrs. Irene Frederic on Warehouse 13 as well. She’s also been in X-Files, Quantum Leap, White Dwarf (horrid series), Gargoyles, Millennium, House of Frankenstein, Outer Limits, W.I.T.C.H. and The Lion Guard. Film wise, she shows up in Robocop 3, Tales from the Crypt presents Demon Knight, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Face/Off, NetForce, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and several of the forthcoming Avatar films.
- Born December 25, 1984 — Georgia Moffett, 38. She’s the daughter of actor Peter Davison, the man who was Fifth Doctor and she’s married to David Tennant who was the Tenth Doctor. She played opposite the Tenth Doctor as Jenny in “The Doctor’s Daughter” and in she voiced ‘Cassie’ in the animated Doctor Who: Dreamland which is now on iTunes and Amazon. And yes she’s in The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot as herself.
[Thanks to Chris Barkley, Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Iphinome.]