Joe P. Asher
A longtime fixture of the Harlan holiday scene has “turned up” after a short absence.
The “Flipping Santa” Christmas decoration that adorned the window of Star Furniture and other local businesses for decades has found a temporary home at the Harlan Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.
Clerk Paul Williams said the well known decoration has been welcomed with open arms.
“He was at Star Furniture for several years,” said Williams. “Then, he went to Jay’s. My son in law, Danny Smallwood, bought it last year from Susan Howard (a local businesswoman).”
“My daughter, Jennifer Smallwood, was the one who really wanted it,” said Williams. “When she was five or six years old we would drive around town and she would want to go by it several times.”
“Danny actually bought it for her for Christmas last year,” said Williams. “When she got up that morning, she walked in the living room and looked at the fireplace. Flipping Santa Claus was there and she was shocked.”
Williams noted the decoration will be returned to the owners before Christmas.
“He had a chance to buy it so he bought it,” said Williams. “I’m going to use it for a few days and then give it back to them so they can put it up for Christmas.”
Williams said there is a chance that Flipping Santa will make an appearance at his office during future holiday seasons. The ornament has generated comments from many people doing business at the clerk’s office.
“One woman said ‘I loved that when I was a child. And I still love it.’ She was the same age as my daughter,” said Williams.
Williams noted that Flipping Santa was first found in the window of Star Furniture, a family business which operated in downtown Harlan for many years.
“We wondered where it went when it left Jay’s. Somebody had it for a little while down on Main Street. That might have been Susan Howard, I’m not sure. We’ll have it here for the next few days at least,” said Williams.
Even though Flipping Santa has seen decades of use, he shows no signs of slowing down.
“He went on day and night for years,” said Williams.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or firstname.lastname@example.org