A Christmas memory from Bill McGee


08 Santa Claus Englewood Mens Club

Bill McGee playing Santa Claus at the Englewood Men’s Club Christmas party for members’ grandchildren. Englewood, New Jersey. December 1949


December 1949 – As the year was coming to a close, I decided it was time to trade in my Levis and boots for Brooks Brothers suits … I left my wrangler job on the Flying M.E. dude ranch in Nevada, and with my new bride in tow (who I met on the ranch a year earlier) together we went to her hometown in New Jersey so she could introduce her cowboy husband to her East Coast family and friends at a round of holiday cocktail parties. The first family member I met was my new father-in-law, Jack Allison. Despite our very different backgrounds (he was what was called an Eastern blueblood), he took an immediate liking to me and made me feel comfortable. Like a lot of Easterners, Jack had a fascination with the West and wanted to know everything about cowboying. He was a man of many artistic talents … painting, musician, singer, songwriter. At that first lunch meeting, before I knew what happened, Jack had tapped me to play Santa Claus at the upcoming Christmas party for members’ grandchildren at the Englewood Men’s Club (see photo) … Every Christmas since then, when I see a Santa, I’m reminded of this gentleman of the old school and his kindness to a stranger.

Merry Christmas to one and all!

One thought on “A Christmas memory from Bill McGee

  1. And a PERFECT Santa you made, Billy McGee! Not only for the portrayal of Old St. Nick physically . . . but the goodness in your heart for sharing. Wonderful photo! A forever admirer. 😍 Happy New Year to you & Sandra … & hope to see you soon in Napa! Hugs, SNIM

    Sent from my iPad


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