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May 31, 2020

(CORRECTION!!) Montgomery (not Birmingham) residents in the 1960's

     I'm trying to answer a question about Montgomery. 
    A discount department store of some kind in that city had a huge Santa built and installed outside to attract Christmas shoppers in the mid 1960's.

      It may have helped their Christmas sales, but the store closed some time later anyway.

     The Santa was then moved to Panama City Florida where----after they  painted his beard black, chopped off one of his hands to make way for a hook, and added a new hat and an eye patch--- he became a pirate at the entrance to Petticoat Junction, an amusement park in that city.

      All of that information comes from a book by prolific Birmingham writer Tim Hollis:

Florida's Miracle Strip: From Redneck Riviera to Emerald Coast

...but even he doesn't know the name of the store in Montgomery that was home to the Santa
 He writes:


"I got that info from the Churchwells who owned Petticoat Jct, but even they didn't know the name of the store when they told me about it."
And that's what I'm trying  to find out---plus any photos of of the Santa/Pirate.

Here's a photo of the Pirate in Florida, before they added the hook to replace his left hand.

     Were you living in Montgomery in the mid 1960's? Do you remember a store with the giant Santa outside? Any photos? I've promised to help Tim Hollis with his search. Can you help me help him?

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