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Cornfusion

I Saw Santa Claus Die

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This came up in a different thread, and I didn't want to hijack it.  I saw Santa Claus die back in 1965.  Technically, it was Santa Claus' elf, but those of us on the ground didn't know that.  We thought it was Santa Claus.

Our family just moved to Illinois, as my dad got a job in tool & die.  Mom wanted to take advantage of the the "big city" attractions and loaded all seven kids up in the Pontiac to go to North Towne Mall, where the local radio station had teamed up with the shopping center to have Santa Claus fly in from the North Pole and parachute into Santa's village.  The plan was for the "jumping Santa" to land and then the "Tell me what you want for Christmas" Santa would trade places with him.

Mom was afraid Santa would land on one of her kids, so we kind of hung back.  The On Air personality was out there whipping up the crowd into a Yuletide frenzy.  When the plane came, he told us all to sing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" so Santa would hear and  he would know tha he was in the right place, else he might jump.  Everybody was singing their hearts out, even my usually skeptical older brother.  He wasn't risking his Christmas wish list because he was too cool to sing.  Somebody in the plane threw out a roll of toilet paper to gauge the wind, and then Santa jumped.  I remember Santa spinning, with a green smoke bomb on one leg and a red smoke bomb on the other.  He was in what pilots would call a "flat spin" which made for crazy but cool looking red and green spiral smoke.  Those smoke bombs proved fatal, as somehow it snagged his main chute and then the main chute snagged his reserve chute.He landed on the other side of the four lane from the mall.  They said it was somebody's backyard.  Lots of people yelling and screaming, mostly parents.  (Does this remind anybody of that WKRP episode with throwing turkeys out of the helicopter?) I remember a little girl in a beret being dragged by her mom and both were screaming.  I couldn't make out exactly what I had seen.  Mom grabbed as many of the little kids as she could (I'm still impressed she could hold hands with three or four at a crack) and told us Santa would be at Meadow Mart Mall, but we drove right on by it and went home.  Protests by us kids were met with a "We'll go later!  Everybody be quiet and sit still!"  I think Mom was trying to flee from any more plummeting North Pole denizens that might still be airborne.

Dad didn't like crowds, so he stayed home and was going to watch the whole show from across the Rock River with his binoculars.  Mom pulled into the driveway and ordered all of the kids into the house.  Dad came boiling out of the house when he saw Mom pull up into the driveway.  He still had his binoculars around his neck.

Dad hollered as she put the car into Park, "How low was that sonofabitch when he opened his 'chute?!"

Mom replied, "Just get into the house!  Everybody just get into the house!"

https://1440wrok.com/flashback-the-1965-santa-incident-at-north-towne-mall/

Ten years ago, I found out that the pilot of that plane actually married Santa's widow(actually the elf's widow, but everybody still calls him Santa to this day)  a few years later.

Five years later, I watched a guy on a hang glider being pulled by a boat deep six himself.  His tow line snapped and it sounded like a rifle shot.  He fell in a bent over position almost like he was unconscious. 

I ran into tell Mom and she said, "Oh he did not!  That would kill him if that happened!" 

Next morning they pulled him out of the mud in six feet of water from the Rock River.

Edited by Cornfusion
clean up

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WKRP, Santa's Village in nearby Dundee, a girl I dated briefly from Rockford mentioned something about this once, our mutual fear of heights, shit I probably have a distant relative that was there that day.  So many connections.

But holy shit on the fucking pilot eventually marrying the dead guy's widow.  That's insane.  That's opening montage to "Magnolia" level shit right there.  Wow.  

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Rockford: so dismal that Santa would rather kill himself. 

You got that right.   Eventually, all seven kids moved out of Illinois with my parents following.  Thankfully.

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32 minutes ago, Cornfusion said:

You got that right.   Eventually, all seven kids moved out of Illinois with my parents following.  Thankfully.

What years did you live there out of curiosity?  Maybe we're eskimo brothers with the only attractive female to ever come out of Rockford?  

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^

Nope, I wish.  Had no idea she was from that part of IL/WI.  I wish I knew her (well, now anyways).  Would have been wildly inappropriate for me to have known her back then considering I'm six years older than her.  No big deal now, but when I was 17, she was 11.  No this other woman is from Rockford proper.  She is also, like Danica, quite short.  We did one date at Santa's Village which is near Rockford in Dundee.  I remembered she told me some snippet about the Santa tragedy at her Rockford mall.  Hence my allure with this thread.  But I had no idea bout the graphic details of the story nor the weird part where the pilot ends up banging the widow.  So fucking strange.  

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What years did you live there out of curiosity?  Maybe we're eskimo brothers with the only attractive female to ever come out of Rockford?  

I left Rockford when I graduated high school.  Unemployment in Rockford was at 28% in 1978.  I went out to visit the relatives in Nebraska and my parents said look for a job there and don't come back if you find one.  I did,  so I didn't. The band Cheap trick originated in Rockford, two of them went to the same school as me.  But back then, everybody with a guitar or drum set was in a band and going to make it big, so nobody paid any attention to them...until they made it big.

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2 hours ago, Cornfusion said:

Five years later, I watched a guy on a hang glider being pulled by a boat deep six himself.  His tow line snapped and it sounded like a rifle shot.  He fell in a bent over position almost like he was unconscious. 

I ran into tell Mom and she said, "Oh he did not!  That would kill him if that happened!" 

How does that work? The cable hits him? 

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How does that work? The cable hits him? 

I can't say.  I wasn't too old at the time, but that would be my guess.  Otherwise, who in their right mind would let go of the hang glider?  Back then, we called them "Rogallo wings".

LOL, after Mom read about it in the paper, she warned all of us kids for the umpteenth time to "Stay away from that river!"  I guess falling hang gliding enthusiasts were added to her list of the inherent dangers trying to kill her kids.

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The last time I was in the Dominican Republic I saw this row boat being towed by a boat, and the row boat had  a parawing attached to it.  The boat towed the rowboat until it got up to speed and the rowboat started flying.  I really wanted to try it, but I couldn't talk the kids into it.

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The embellished version of this story I heard years ago said “Santa” was actually a manaquein stuffed with raw meat.

Either version is pretty cool.

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