I know it’s New Years Eve and Christmas has passed,but every time I pass the tree I think about him. My dad,my hero. He owned the mom and pop store on Van Brunt Street in Red Hook back in the day. And though he sold whatever fell off the truck,Christmas decorations and toys were what he was most known for. He truly was Santa Claus and taught me everything I know about giving. I can’t hang the old ornaments on the tree from dad’s store without tears forming in my eyes. Some of them are so old they cannot be hung but they sit there on a branch smiling at me each time I go by. They are like my little angel elves. each year dad had Santa outside the store and gave toys away. Each year he helped many people who would not have had a Christmas if it were not for him. Like the little girl who screamed for a doll that sat on the counter only to hear her mother yell at her. It took a few minutes of that before dad or Skinny as he was known to all to fix that. Skinny got up from his chair and walked from behind the counter. As he turned the corner I heard a crash. Sure enough he knocked the doll to the floor.”Geez” he said “Now what am I gonna do?””I
Can’t sell this doll,she fell on the freaken floor”.Skinny then turned to the little girl and asked “Can you take her home with you?”The little girl’s eyes opened wide and she looked at her mother who turned her head away. The little girl left with the doll,leaving Skinny mumbling under his breath. I never said anything to dad about that little random act of kindness as it was only one of so many that I witnessed during my years with him in the store. I can only hope that dad knows how proud of him I am and how much I love him. My dad Skinny truly was the Santa Claus of Red Hook!
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