Sunday, December 17, 2006

Ho Ho Ho A Jewish Santa Clause?

When I was 6 or 7, Cousin Burl Barer was still going to High School in Walla Walla where I lived at the time. He also was working nights and weekends at the local radio station KTEL. Burl's official title was "staff announcer" , it consisted of playing country music during the day, then at night, he could play the rock and roll that he and his peers wanted to hear. We did not know that this would be the beginning of a successful radio career for him. KTEL was small and a somewhat cornball organization, it had a tradition of doing a remote broadcast at Christmastime. One of the staff announcers would be Santa Clause at JJ Newberry's ( a well known national departments store with a huge toy department) he would ask children to tell what they wanted for Christmas and it go out over the radio. Probably so the real Santa would hear (rumor had it that he was a listener--Oh well). One year that duty went to Burl, my parents took me to Newberry's and told me not to tell anyone that "Santa" was really my cousin. When it was my turn to step up to see Santa, he asked if I was "any relation to Burl Barer", that was a difficult concept for me to fathom at the time so I said, "that's you"
Because he made a great Santa, Burl got to hand out gifts at the family Chanukkah party that Saturday night.

8 comments:

PJ said...

What a fun story.
Happy Chanukkah Mike.

girl_sedated said...

How fun to imainge my father playing Santa... Hard for me to picture truthfully but I am sure it was funny :)

Mike Barer said...

Wow--I wonder if he even remembers. Makes me wonder what stories there are about my Dad.

Dave Zarkin said...

I love this story. I remember Newberry's where I spent my hard earned money on $1.49 LPs. Burl as Santa boggles the mind. For my Chanukah at sea, go to www.cheezymovies.blogspot.com

Burl Barer said...

Amazing that you told this story, because I was just thinking about it the other day, AND remembering handing out the Chanukkah presents at your folks house (the first one) when you were a little kid! We must have been on the same wavelength.
As for playing Santa, I was about 16 or 17 at the time, skinny, and had pillows stuffed into my Santa outfit. I doubt I was very convincing!

Alan L. Barer said...

I remember listening to Santa Claus on my car radio turning it on just in time to hear a little tyke ask, "Santa, what do you do after your night of delivering gifts all over the world?"

A familiar voice of a sixteen year old cousin responded without missing a beat, "I'll fly down to Palm Springs take it easy play some golf."

Mike Barer said...

Another case of the comments being more entertaining than the post.

Ginger Dawn Harman said...

I really enjoyed this post! Ha.. Burl I bet made a great Santa!