Back around 1959, when I was about eight years old, my parents, my sister and I drove from New Jersey to Brooklyn to visit my grandparents, and my grandfather decided to take me on the subway into Manhattan to see the Macy’s Santa Claus.
My mother, being a proud but displaced New Yorker, had told me that while many stores had a Santa Claus, most of them were only helpers, and the real Santa could be found only at Macy’s.
I wondered about this. Why did Macy’s get the real Santa, when all the other stores had to settle for fakes? So I asked my grandfather, who did not hesitate to answer.
“They’ve got the nicest chair,” he said.