AMERICANA: These Changing Times

¶ Old-fashioned carols rolled forth as usual, but in some parts of the U.S. the age seemed to be catching up to Santa Claus. Dallas' big A. Harris & Co. department store had converted roly-poly Santa into a tall, flat-flanked cowboy, who rode in a buckboard instead of a sleigh, wore a bright red shirt and long white beard but no other traditional trappings. In Pekin, Ill., when a more conventional Santa came wheeling through town in a parade, he was ignominiously snowballed by teenagers.

¶ A warning that U.S. culture is...

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