December 24th, 2016
by Brian Walker, Greg Walker and Chance Browne
I live in a neighborhood in Connecticut, known as “Silvermine,” where three towns – New Canaan, Wilton and Norwalk – meet. There was never any silver mined in the area but it has been home to many artists, some of whom founded the Silvermine Guild in 1922, now part of the Silvermine Arts Center. Another local landmark is the Silvermine Tavern, which opened in 1929 and is currently being renovated.
For many years, The Silvermine Community Association has sponsored an annual event in which Santa Claus arrives at the Tavern and distributes presents to the local children. The sign above, featuring a drawing by longtime Silvermine resident Roy Doty, helps remind neighbors about Santa’s visit. Although Doty passed away in 2015, his illustrations are still being used on signs in the area.
On the morning of Christmas Eve, parents drop off gifts, clearly marked with the kids’ names, on the front porch of the Tavern (a local home and the Silvermine Arts Center are being used this year because of the Tavern reconstruction). In the afternoon, families gather in the parking lot, sipping hot chocolate and waiting for Santa’s arrival.
Santa finally appears, riding in an antique red fire engine with a hearty “ho ho ho.” He then reads the names off the boxes and hands the presents to the children.
In the 1990s, when my daughter Sarah was about five years old, we participated in this event. After receiving her present, Sarah wondered why Santa used the same wrapping paper as Mommy. I used this incident, exactly as it happened, to create the Sunday page above. It shows how real life events can inspire Hi and Lois gags.
We hope all of our readers have a very Merry Christmas!
– Brian Walker
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