At 86 years young, man still is looking for Santa

Oklahoman Published: December 23, 2008
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Gerald Dixon, Guymon:
I was born at our parents’ farm 12 miles northwest of Guymon in 1922. The Christmas season was the most important time of the year. On Christmas Eve, Dad, Mom and us kids would hang our stockings at our place at the large table in the dining room.

When I was 7 years old, I started school at a little one-room country school a couple of miles northwest of our home. The big boys told us little boys there was not a Santa Claus. I wouldn’t believe this. For as long as I could remember, on Christmas, our stockings were full, and gifts such as wagons for the boys and dolls for the girls were at our place at the table.

On Christmas Eve 1929, I decided I’d find out for myself and catch Santa or the imposter in the act of delivering the gifts. We boys slept upstairs, and at bedtime, I went to bed. But in 10 or 15 minutes, I slipped down the stairs behind the curtains on the stairway, where I had full view of the dining room table. My mother heard me and ordered me back to bed. In another 10 or 15 minutes, I went back down behind the curtains and again, Dad and Mom ordered me back to bed. I nearly froze as all I had on was my little long-handle underwear. I went back to bed and fell asleep. At about 5 a.m. Christmas morning, I rushed downstairs to find the table full of our gifts.

I had failed to catch Santa Claus, but I did catch double pneumonia, which in those days was near-fatal.

We had no hospital nearby, so my dad got Miss Annie Luther, a registered nurse, to come and try to save my life and nurse me back to health. Miss Annie spent seven days and nights at our farm home giving all the nursing care she could possibly give, and on the fifth or sixth day, my fever broke. I survived and have had a wonderful life ever since. I’m 86 this Christmas.

I never thought or heard of Miss Annie for many years. But in the early ’50s, after my parents had told and retold the story, I learned Miss Annie lived in a little white house in Guymon, so I took a box of chocolates and one of my business desk calendars to wish her a merry Christmas.