Jolly man in red seen on Rt. 82, reports suggest he was getting ready for the big day
By Ned McPeak, North Pole Bureau Chief, UnionvilleTimes.com
EAST MARLBOROUGH — After sightings of a mysterious man in red — and no few complaints about his sled and reindeer taking up multiple parking spaces at the Unionville Post Office, local residents seem convinced that the one and only Santa Claus was in town making final checks before the big holiday.
In fact, this reporter encountered an individual dressed entirely in red as he appeared to be checking off various lists and addresses. He spoke very briefly — just long enough for the reporter to snap a picture with his phone before moving on quickly.
“Am I Santa Claus?” he smiled. “Let’s just say I know who is on the naughty list and I’d hate to see you added, son.”
With that, he was off in a flash, but without confirming or denying his identity.
“There’s no doubt in mind it was him,” said Leslie Gooding, a local resident who claims to have encountered the man while he bought reindeer feed at the Unionville Feed Store.
There were also isolated reports of students at Unionville Elementary School claiming to see the man — and incredibly, they suggested he was flying his sled.
“Of course, it was Santa,” said Susie Brannon, a second-grader at UES. “Who else flies through the air with eight reindeer?”
But not everyone was thrilled to see him.
“It was impossible to park at the (Unionville) post office,” said Nash DeViatro, another local resident. “He had to be taking up four or five parking spaces — and those spaces are at a premium. And let’s be honest, reindeer aren’t the sweetest-smelling animals, either, so even if you could park, it wasn’t exactly ideal. I wish he’d just parked at the firehouse, you know?”
Local police officials were mum on the reports, although they noted higher than usual reports of activity involving men in red suits accompanied by reindeer.
Santa Claus is expected to make his return to the area Saturday night, sources say, although apparently, only those homes where everyone is asleep. Local officials are cautioning parents that children should make sure they’re tucked in bed early, just in case.
From all of us at The Unionville Times:
A very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!