In Glover: Santa comes to town, in a fire truck
copyright the Chronicle December 17, 2014
by David Dudley
GLOVER — The fire station here was packed with children and their parents Saturday night waiting for Santa to arrive. Though Mr. Claus was late — apparently due to problems with his sled — there were still lots of things to do at the tenth annual Ride a Fire Truck with Santa, held by the Glover Volunteer Fire Department.
But nobody had to remind the children not to pout or cry. They were in the mood to make merry.
The smell of hot cocoa was in the air. Some children were building graham cracker houses, their design choices guided equally by their personal preferences in style and flavor. One lined her house with frosting to hold it together. Another capped hers with a chocolate drop. A third went all out, encrusting her graham cracker house with everything she could get her hands on, including pretzel sticks and gum drops.
By all appearances, these kids were having big fun, which is exactly what Assistant Fire Chief Job Breitmeyer and his crew of merry firefighters had hoped for.
“We wanted to show everybody a good time,” Mr. Breitmeyer said. “Usually when people see us they aren’t having such a good day.”
And with the help of the Glover Public Library and Glover Recreation, the fire department did its part to make this Christmas a merry one.
Apart from the cocoa — mixed and heated to perfection by the self-styled Cocoa Queen, Anne Seadale of Barton — there were cookies, caroling, and games.
The caroling was led by Jim Currier, proprietor of Currier’s Quality Market. Mr. Currier said he’d led the caroling for many years.
The games were built and painted by Lorie Seadale, daughter-in-law of Anne. The games included a beanbag toss, where the goal is to toss the bag right through Santa’s hollow smile; a magnetic version of pin the tail on the donkey, wherein dizzy, blindfolded children were challenged to place a carrot in the center of a snowman’s face; and a ring toss that required the contestant to toss a miniature wreath up and onto the tine of a ten-point buck.
Volunteer Carmen Brown was the unfortunate one who had to announce Santa’s delay, but, when he finally did arrive, the children went towards him in throngs.
Santa tried to make a quiet entrance through the garage doors. Little did he know that a number of children were already playing there in the bay area.
“Ho! Ho! Ho!” Santa bellowed. “Merry Christmas!”
Before he finished his greeting, a number of children had already gathered round him, rattling off their wish lists.
They wanted cell phones, Xboxes, guitars, bicycles, Barbie dolls, puppy dogs, LEGOS, iPods, and snowmobiles. One child even asked for an alpaca. Santa couldn’t help but laugh at that one. What would the child’s mother think if, on Christmas morning, she woke up to find an alpaca munching on the Christmas tree?
Mr. Breitmeyer took children ten at a time out into the cool night. They rode high on the back of the fire truck, Santa sitting with them, singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”
Twirling red and white engine lights made the snowy landscape shimmer in the night, as the fire truck drove slowly down Route 16.
“Oh, you’d better not shout,” the children belted out, following Santa’s lead. “You’d better not cry….”
There weren’t many cars on the road, so the kids could look around and see the glowing windows in the houses that lined the street. Some were strung with blinking Christmas lights. Christmas trees could be seen through others.
The children and Santa hit their high note as the engine crept its way back onto Bean Hill Road: “Santa Claus is coming to town!”
Meanwhile, Susan Taylor was inside the warm fire station, singing carols with Mr. Currier.
“This was so much fun,” Ms. Taylor said. “It’s a great family event, and we can always do with more family events in Glover. It’s all about the kids. It really puts the kids in the mood for Christmas.
“They get to ride in a fire truck, with Santa,” Ms. Taylor said. “Really, how often do you get to do that?”
And she’s right. The kids were glowing as they climbed down the fire truck’s ladder, coming in from the night, and returning to their parents. If they weren’t ready for Christmas before their visit to the Glover Fire Department, Saturday night, they surely will be now.
Santa had indeed come to Glover, and he brought the spirit of Christmas with him.
contact David Dudley at [email protected]
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