I then explained to Santa about the closing of The Womb gallery this time last year and the always colorful antics of its patron, Flaming Lips lead singer Wayne Coyne.
“Oh, that Wayne,” Santa laughed. “Some folks want me to put him on the bad list because he can be so naughty at times. But his heart is good, and creativity sometimes gets a bit crazy. He stays on the good list.”
Santa shared a bit more about his “good list,” but I promised to keep it confidential. Let's just say this should be a very good Christmas for people named Kevin, Russell, Thabo, Serge and someone he laughingly referred to as “Perk.”
Santa and I approached a packed Devon Ice Rink as I walked along with him into the Myriad Gardens. He stood in stunned silence as he gazed up at the new 50-story Devon Energy Center decked out with larger-than-life Christmas ornaments. He was truly speechless.
I began to explain to Santa just how wonderful corporate citizens like Devon Energy, Chesapeake Energy, Continental Resources, SandRidge Energy, Sonic, BancFirst, OU Medicine, One Main Financial, Tinker Federal Credit Union and other corporate contributors had helped make this best Christmas yet for downtown Oklahoma City. An incredible crew at Downtown Oklahoma City Inc. had worked hard all year to bring it all together.
When I paused speaking, I realized that I was speaking to an empty Segway. Santa was already strapping on some ice skates to get on the ice rink. I didn't have the heart to stop him and explain he needed to wait his turn. And the kids seemed happy to see the old guy.
I'm not sure what happened next. My memory is a bit fuzzy and even the details I've shared so far could have been influenced by indulging in too much eggnog. Merry Christmas, wonderful Oklahoma City. And thanks for making this Christmas one to remember for Santa and me.