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Pages of History: Santa Claus’ big entrance on a camel

From the pages of the Del Norte Triplicate, December 1963.

St. Nick rides in on big Arabian camel!

Santa Claus made his official debut in Del Norte County by riding into Crescent City aboard Sherazade, the Arabs camel, led afoot by the Mighty Sahib of the West, Bob Ames, and two trios of colorfully dressed Arabs.

This was the retail merchants committee of the county Chamber of Commerce’s way of kicking off the Christmas shopping season.

Santa visited Smith River on Friday morning, Crescent City in the afternoon, and then toured Klamath on Saturday morning, returning to the county seat city in the afternoon to visit participating businesses and pass out candy to the youngsters.

Santa has ridden into Crescent City by helicopter, boat, motor car, and once even walked in; this was the first time he ever rode into any American city, according to the Chamber of Commerce, on a camel and especially one that had dedicated a tunnel, sparked a St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and marched in a Fourth of July parade. That the camel was  home-made and built on a “straddle buggy” made little difference.

Clerk solves hit-and-run

Crescent City police clerk Janice Yeoman, was on the job late Friday as she left, she may have solved a property damage hit-and-run.

Leaving the courthouse police office, she heard a crash and mentally jotted down the identity of a car leaving the scene.

Police later arrested a Smith River man on charges of improper passing and property damage hit-and-run. The crash took place at 5th and H streets.

Hook, line, but no sinker

Fisherman Floyd Morrison recently set a record of sorts for catches at the Smith River. That’s right, “at” rather than “from.”

Morrison was fishing at Bailey hole. He baited a hook with anchovies, laid down the hook and bait, and prepared to add a sinker to the line. He turned away momentarily; when he turned back he had a “big one.”

The hook and bait had disappeared. The line dangled from the mouth of Morrison’s dog, a part McNab, part Cocker “fishing dog”!

Morrison cut off the line, took the dog to a veterinarian, who operated and removed the hook and bait. The dog, “Willie,” is now reported “doing fine.”

His fisherman-master, incidentally, also landed one trout. Morrison lives on South Bank Road.

Elk move postponed

Transfer of 10 Roosevelt elk from the Prairie Creek area to the Big Bear basin area of Del Norte County has been postponed to at least spring of next year, reports Ed Seaman, secretary of the Del Norte Rod and Gun club.

The club, which campaigned to have the animals transferred here, has received an extension making the transfer deadline Dec. 31, 1964, said Seaman. California’s Fish and Game Commission had earlier approved a transfer deadline of Dec. 31, 1963.

However, Fish and Game for what it termed “circumstances beyond control,” failed to trap elk for transfer this year, explained Seaman.

When the transfer takes place will depend on weather in the high altitude basin area and on when the DFG corrals animals for transfer, he added.

Reach Nita Phillips at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


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