Sunday, September 08, 2013

From the Detroit Memories Email Inbox

Fr. Joseph Marquis as J.L. Hudson's Santa
Dear Eileen,

I just discovered your “Detroit Memories” web site this evening.

Thanks for bringing back some of the warm recollections of Metro Detroit.

I continue to treasure the fond memories of portraying Santa for J.L. Hudson’s Thanksgiving Parade back in “the good old days.” I remained with the Detroit parade for several years following the closure of our beloved J.L. Hudson’s store (until around 1990). The attached photo is from around 1977 or 1978. Tom Ryan continued the Santa role until only recently. 

Frankly, this will be my 42nd Christmas conducting the St. Nicholas Institute with Santas arriving from all over the United States (Sept. 30th – Oct. 3rd). Part of the event is a gala Awards Banquet at which we present each student with a framed Certificate of Achievement. We also honor persons from several walks of life who live the Christmas spirit 365 days a year.

During the Wednesday, October 2nd 2013 St. Nicholas Institute Awards Banquet we will present special recognitions to several outstanding persons: Art VanElslander, Dr. Adam English, Rev. Rennie Kaufmann, Dick Purtan and ex-Detroit Lion, Tony Semple for their outstanding work.

This year, we’ll also will also confer a special “Christmases Past, Present & Future Award” to Virginia Patton Moss. She portrayed Ruth Dakin Bailey (the sister-in-law of George Bailey; a.k.a., Jimmy Stewart) in the Frank Capra classic, “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

Banquet reservations are available to the general for $40 per person. The evening will include musical entertainment and an atmosphere that will evoke memories of Christmases long ago.

2013 Awards Banquet Reservation Information

Once again, keep up the great work. I loved reviewing your Detroit Memories web site and look forward to exploring it further!

With warmest best wishes…

In the Spirit of St. Nicholas,
Fr. Joseph Marquis

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