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Fascinating True Stories from the Flip Side of History

Tag Archives: stuck

Santa Stuck in Chimney

 

Santa is a very busy guy around Christmas time, but on December 18, 1955, he decided to pay a visit to a children’s holiday party being held by the Naubuc Fire Department at the Goodwill Grange Hall in Glastonbury, Connecticut.

To make his grand entrance, a large chimney was constructed on the stage. Apparently, Santa had put on a few too many pounds over the past year and he got stuck as he made his way down the chimney. All the audience could see was a chimney with Santa’s boots dangling down.

Someone blurted out, “Call the fire department!” which couldn’t have been too hard since they were sponsoring the party. Two firemen came to Santa’s rescue and the party continued.

While Santa was handing out gifts to the approximately one-hundred children in attendance, a real alarm came in for the fire department. The firemen rushed off to put out a grass fire located on Buttonball Lane.

On December 18, 1955, Santa got stuck in a chimney. Library of Congress image.

Girls Stuck in Phone Booth

 

It was reported on January 12, 1961 that two 15-year-old girls from McKeesport, Pennsylvania got stuck in a telephone booth. They were Christann Duran of 3842 Sarah Street and Peggy Woistman who lived at 941 Franklin Street.

They had squeezed themselves into a pay telephone booth located at the corner of Hartman Street and O’Neil Boulevard to make a call and couldn’t get the door open to get out when they were done.

They frantically hammered on the glass for assistance, but those who saw them just smiled or waved back before walking on by.

Ultimately, one of the girls was able to get her hand into her purse and pull out a dime to call the police. A patrolman arrived and had to remove the door from the phone booth. Which got me thinking: couldn’t they have simply dialed the operator for help?


Four women in telephone booths at the Hurricane Ballroom in 1943.
Phone booths are definitely a thing of the past. This photo shows four women in telephone booths at the Hurricane Ballroom in 1943. (Image from the Library of Congress.)

Only Santa Fits Down Chimneys

 

It was reported that shortly after Christmas of 1960, 8-year-old London resident Alan Smith decided to emulate Santa by going down the chimney of a nearby house that was being demolished. He got down about halfway before getting stuck.

After being rescued by the fire department, Alan stated, “I can’t understand it. Santa is much fatter than me and he never gets stuck.”

My guess is that his parents had a long talk with him afterward explaining how Santa really gets down those chimneys.

Children Waiting for Santa
Just how does Santa get down the chimney? That is a secret that only he knows... (Black & white photonegative. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory)

Boy Stuck in Chimney

 

On December 12, 1951, 8-year-old Jimmy Kirk told his friend, Peter Rosinsky, also 8-years of age, that no one, not even Santa could fit down his chimney.  

You can probably guess what happened next.  Jimmy went up on the roof of his family’s Philadelphia home and headed down the chimney, feet first.  It wasn’t long before he got stuck with only his head sticking out of the chimney.

A house painter who had been working in the neighborhood came and safely pulled Jimmy out.  I guess no one ever told Jimmy that Santa had a lot of experience with chimneys.  No one is more of an expert than he is.  Santa can get up and down any chimney.  Yes, some may be tougher than others, but he never gets stuck. 

340 lb Santa Stuck in Chimney

 

On Christmas Day of 1920, the three children of New York Alderman Frank J. Dotzler were caught trying to sneak a peek at Santa while he was delivering their gifts.  

So, Dotzler dressed up as Santa, filled a pack with gifts, and decided to descend their home’s chimney.  Unlike the real Santa, Dotzler’s 340-pound mass got stuck about half-way down the chimney.  

He was forced to yell for help.  A bricklayer was called in to remove the portion of the chimney around Dotzler and the bag of gifts was tossed to the ground.  

The moral of this story:  Leave the work of heading down the chimney to the real Santa.