American Scene: Santa Claus, California

In seasonal conspiracy, parents and postal workers arrange for Santa Claus to answer his mail with such postmarks as North Pole, Alaska, and Christmas, Fla. For years, thousands of those letters were stamped and sent out from Santa Claus, Calif.; but the postmark has been abolished now, and the small strip of oceanfront land in Southern California where once it was Christmas every day has lost more than a postal stamp. TIME Correspondent Tim Tyler visited Santa Claus and reminisced with the town's founder:

EUGENE AUGER always wanted to be Santa Claus, even when he was a young businessman selling...

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