Ross Hamilton said Santa Claus Day already was a standing tradition at Southwood's when he joined the popular West Washington Street store as assistant manager in 1972.
said one of the favorite aspects of the job was the annual task of dressing up the store in holiday finery, which was accomplished during open hours.
"Santa Claus Day was something that we had for many, many years," said Hamilton
, noting pictures with Santa was the main feature.
said different people took on the Southwood's Santa role over the years, from the store's handyman to just good-natured townspeople.
I can't remember how Santa arrived, probably came out of the stock room," Hamilton said, noting some years he served as the photographer.