Friday, December 23, 2011

Little R. and Little C. and The REAL Santa

This photo was made in 1962 at Oval Road Primary School in Croydon, England.  The tall Joseph is my husband, Richard, looking a bit shy, don't you think?  Don't you love all these children's faces?  I wonder where they all now?  Wouldn't it be wonderful if someone recognized them and let me know?

By the way, did anyone hear the story from Ireland about the letter that was found in a chimney that a child had placed in there for Santa Claus?  The letter was dated 1911!  It was found during a renovation a few years back but the owner just made it public.  A man who lived about a hundred miles away read the story and realized that it was written by his own mother. She had passed away years ago, so what an amazing and wonderful gift it was for the gentleman.   I read it on the BBC website.   Here is the link,
    I have been holding onto a letter from 1997 that our son wrote to Santa Claus.   He put a stamp on it and mailed it, but since he put his return address at the bottom of the envelope, it was returned to us in the mail! I carefully put it into one of my Christmas books...should I open it this year and tell you what it says?  Should I wait and give it to him and let a future grandchild open it?  What do you say?  My friends say they can't believe I could hold on to it for all these years, but I have always loved anticipation!

This photo is of our sweet little son when he was three years old. He is all grown up now having  just turned 22!  Just look at his face, he was always very excited to see Santa Claus! Now, this Santa Claus was our "local" Santa.  We took our boy to the Mall and had his photo made with the very slick professional looking Santa and little C. then asked us when would we go to see the "real" Santa.  What we didn't know is that this Santa was Bernie Bourdon.  Originally from Montreal, Canada, he moved to Georgia after he had lost his wife. (They had been living in Florida).  He planned on becoming a monk and lived for a time at the Monastery. (I have mentioned the Monastery before in my earlier posts in September.)  Once there, the monks advised him to think and to pray upon his decision to become a monk since he was so outgoing.  Bernie began to work with as he called it "the homeless and the helpless".  He began a company called "Tech-Able" which was for disabled people to adapt and modify toys and electronics so as to be able to sell them.  Also, he started the  "Meals On Wheels" program which is still run by several churches today, but Bernie Bourdon is the one who first began this program.  Bernie won several awards for all his work.  There is a bridge named after him now in this county.  He passed away a few years ago but we still have our memories of the REAL Santa!  Just look at that photo of his face and see if you don't see the kindness in his eyes.  He would take little C's hands into his very large hands and say, "Remember, this Christmas, how much your Mommy and Daddy love you".  At the time I didn't know that he had planned on becoming a monk, I just felt that I was in the presence of someone very special and our son knew that too.

Oh, and in one of my earlier posts, I said that I didn't like a lot of the Christmas music with all the runs and trills.  Well, this week I listened to every bit of it that I could, and I love it from the most serious to the silliest, I love it all!  I wish everyone all the joy in the world during this most special time of year! 

Merry Christmas to all!


  1. Dear Kay, the story is here:

    It is very sweet and maybe I'll tell it to my family and friends tonight when we gather at my parents' for Christmas Eve.

    Yes, Richard as Joseph looks a bit shy, but I also think I can detect a twinkle in his eye that means he enjoys life and was - I hope - generally a happy little boy.
    By the way, I am very glad that you listened to my encouragement when I said to you time and time again you really should start your own blog!

    And I am looking forward to reading lots more from you in 2012.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Librarian,
    Thank you for the link! I will try to put it on my blog!
    Richard as a little boy... I think he might have had it very rough had he not had such a wonderful mother, she worked so hard to make him happy after his Dad died when he was only three years old. Happily, she re-married when Richard was 14 and he has had a wonderful Dad for all these years. (LOVE YOU JOAN & PETER!)
    Our litle son was a jolly little fellow, he was usually grinning from ear to ear in any photo, but not in this one. He really was in awe every time he saw Santa. Do you think he looks like me or Richard? (C., that is, not Santa!)

    And I thank you so much for your advice to start my own blog. I honestly would never have done so without your encouragement. Look forward to reading what YOU write in 2012!

  3. Your son looks definitely like you, Kay!

  4. What beautiful stories and photographs, hope you and your family have a special christmas...

  5. Wendy,
    Thank you and the very same wishes for you! :-)

    He is the apple of my eye! :-) Happy Christmas!

  6. What a lovely post...Santa sure looks real to me...hoping you had a wonderful Christmas and wishing you a fabulous New Year!!

  7. Donna,
    Thank you! We were so lucky to have this Santa for our boy growing up... And I wish all the very same thing to you! Happy Gardens!

  8. Thanks for this lovely Christmassy post! I love the photo of Richard's school nativity play because the kids are taking it all so seriously and not hamming it up for the camera. It's a really cute picture.

    Having waited so long, I might start to feel I could wait longer to open the dear little letter to Santa. I might feel that it was a link to the little child that once was and I want to keep it intact.

    It must have been strange for that guy to learn about his mother's letter. A "gold penny" I wonder if she meant a sovereign.....

    Bernie sounds like an amazing person and it's good that you and your family got to know him. Yes, your son looks overawed, and not surprising, meeting such an important person! :)

    I love to see little kids with that expression.

    I hadn't heard either of these songs, believe it or not, though the Beach Boys is instantly recognisable. I am so surprised the Elvis was new to me!

    I hope your holiday season has been wonderful so far and into 2012.

  9. Dear Jenny,
    Thank you so much for your comment! So happy that you liked my photos of my husband and son!Had you heard of the story of the Santa letter? I love that story, imagine learning of it, a letter written by your own mother as a child! Perhaps I will wait to open my son's you say, I have waited this long!
    Love that you listened to the songs that I put on here. This Beach Boys song was also on the very popular "Now That's What I Call Christmas" album from 1985 in England, do you remember it? (I lived in Eastbourne in 1985 and still have the album!)Oh dear, I may have to do a post about it!
    Elvis, oh my, I love Elvis, I am afraid I will have to write about him too. He really loved to sing gospel music more than anything, he was just a good Southern boy at heart, you know.

    I am so excited that I received your book, "The Mystery of Lewis Carroll" as a Christmas present, I can't wait to read it!

  10. Kay, that was the sweetest story. I am surprised you never opened the letter, but it is darling, and the photo of your husband as Joseph is too. My kids have been in the Nativity plays here in OK too. Oh, I meant to tell you, we have a lovely blogger here in western Oklahoma named Sarah who is known as Brit Gal in the USA. Here's her blog: If I remember right, she married her American pen pal.

  11. Dee,
    Thank you for telling me about Brit gal! I think I have seen her blog before but then couldn't remember the name of it and could not find it again! Has that ever happened to you?
    Thank you so much for your comment!