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Shawangunk Mountain Press
January 15, 2009
Flash!!
Santa’s Summer Outted!
“The Jolly Old Elf” Operates Remote Training Camp
Does this Stronghold a Pose Threat to Our Security?
 
Did you ever wonder what Santa Claus did during the summer? As you may be aware one of the major Credit Card Co.’s in the USA would have you believe that he spends his time lounging on a Caribbean beach, using their card to finance his leisure activities. The truth is much more mystifying than you would suppose.
 
Our intrepid correspondents Jim “Slash” DeYoung and Stan “Bash” McElnea better known for their activities in the field of Garden Railroading decided to find out just exactly what “The Jolly Old Elf” was up to. After an exhaustive search of the beaches of the Caribbean, management informed these intrepid correspondents that a survey of his known hideout would be in order.
 
As Slash and Bash are freelance correspondents financial reimbursement is contingent upon getting a story worthy of this august publication. Protracted negotiations with a local Lumber Co. Magnate resulted in the pair securing financial backing for an expedition to the North Pole. The helicopter service of “Hotrod” Sullivan & Co. was contracted to provide transportation for the adventure. At the end of these negotiations the Lumber Co. Magnate was heard to mutter something about having his entire stock reduced to 1:20.3 scale, and the pilot, “Hotrod” Sullivan himself expressed concern that his helicopter might be “Trashed and Dirtied”. It is the opinion of the management that these comments have nothing to do with this expedition, but are symptoms of the times in which we live.
 
Using the latest in stealth helicopter technology the expedition arrived at the North Pole workshop of Santa’s Elves completely undetected.  
 

Bursting into the workshop Slash & Bash demanded to know the whereabouts of  “The Jolly Old Elf”. Receiving evasive answers from the workshop Elves they began a grid search of the surrounding countryside. Noting a suspicious trail heading south they followed it to the site of a hidden camp occupied by Mr. Claus and eight tiny reindeer. Here it was obvious that a clandestine training operation was underway. Once the camp had been discovered Mr. Claus reluctantly granted an interview in which he claimed that he was “simply training replacements for his regular team of reindeer”. This claim though plausible, however, there were some suspicious anomalies observed by our correspondents. To whit a sleigh that appears too Phoo-Phoo for the supposed likes of a children’s hero.
      

When questioned about the sleigh Mr. Claus answered that “the old one is getting a bit worn and needs replacing”. As to the design he stated, “the fellow who produced this sleigh may have gotten a bit carried away with embellishments”. He was however, “certain that his Elves at the Workshop could bring it up to the standards people expect of Santa Claus”.

 
 
In addition the reindeer at the training camp appear much too young to be pressed into service pulling a heavily laden sleigh. They are not even out of their spots as of yet.
 

Again when questioned the elusive Mr. Claus had a ready answer. He stated, “It takes years to train and condition these reindeer for pulling the sleigh through the whole of Christmas Eve Night. These youngsters are at least two years away from going into service.” The question of course is, ‘What service will they be required to perform?’ Lingering questions remain in the public mind as to the motivation of Mr. Claus and his “gift giving”.

 
 
 Rest assured loyal readers this mystery will be thoroughly investigated over then intervening months before the traditional Christmas Rush.
 
Stay tuned for further developments!  
Regards, Bob Rich
 

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RE: Sant's Summer Camp

Sorry, the tittle should be Santa's Summer Camp, but I can't edit it.

Bob Rich
 

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RE: Sant's Summer Camp

Shawangunk Mountain Press
January 17, 2009

Santa’s Summer Outted! – January 15, 2009
Additions, Deletions and Corrections

The Editor of the Shawangunk Mountain Press wishes to respond to several erroneous allegations received from competing news media, such as the Great George Gazette of Vernon, NJ, the Milford, PA - Blowhard & Bugle and the Jefferson Township, NJ - Jamboree & Camping News. These publications have all registered their outrage at the use of “such high faluten language” in the phrasing of the wire dispatch. To whit, “a story worthy of this august publication”. There is a slight miscommunication resulting from reliance on the use of “Spellchecker” by the reporters. That line should have read, “a story worthy of this August published publication”, as in THE MONTH OF AUGUST. Anyone familiar with our newspaper is aware that this newspaper publishes only one hard copy printing a year in AUGUST! It is therefore incumbent on the editorial staff to be selective in the material to be published, to assure the loyal readers that it is of the highest standards and not some silly idiocies.

In other related issues several of the competing publications, named above, have applied for court injunctions demanding the release of the specific coordinates for the training camp sited in this wire dispatch. The reporters of this article have negotiated and signed a nondisclosure agreement with Mr. Claus and his attorneys. This agreement will be honored by this publication and its’ reporters to the ends of the earth. No coercion shall sway this resolve. We firmly stand on the rights of a free press not to reveal its’ sources or their location. Further action by the members of the competition, named above, will result in legal action being taken to stop their inquiries.

Finally in response to claims that the picture of the VS-300 Sikorsky Stealth Helicopter used in the first article was a fake we submit the following. Due to security requirements the Office of Homeland Security imposed a ban on using a picture of the real Stealth Helicopter. Recently the Office of Homeland Security has lifted that ban and we are free to publish a picture of the True State of The Art Stealth Helicopter as seen below. Notice that this helicopter is so far advanced that the pilot is able to wear a stylish and fashionable Fedora Hat while flying this miracle of aviation technology.


Santa’s Summer Camp
Reports from the Training Camp
Is Time Truly “Relative”?

In our last report we revealed the sensational discover of a Summer Camp run by Mr. S. Claus (AKA Santa) in the far reaches of the Arctic Ice Cap not far from his center of operations at the North Pole. In summary, Mr. Claus clamed to be running a training camp for Juvenal Reindeer. This publication has uncovered surprising facts concerning that camp that will be revealed in a series of articles. Suffice it to say that the simple tail of a training camp is not the full story. The truth is more mystifying than you would suppose.

After the discovery of the camp by our correspondents Slash and Bash, this publication took it upon itself to launch a full-scale investigation into the mater. Shortly after the return of our intrepid reporters we sent them on a surprise return trip to the camp. There they were able to obtain further photographic evidence that all things are not as had been previously represented by Mr. Claus. As you can see in the photo below the Reindeer are no longer, how shall we say it?

“Juvenal”?



While not fully adult these Reindeer have obviously matured well past the age of bearing spots on their coats in a mater of days. Surprised by our reporters early return Mr. Claus was at first unwilling to grant further interviews. However, faced with the fact of the photographic evidence he conceded. When trying to explain the rapid maturing of the young Reindeer he stated weakly, “Here in the vicinity of the North Pole, time is relative.” “What is one year in the real world may be equated to two or three years here.” “On the other hand one year in the real world it may be only a mater of months here in the far north, depending.” When questioned as to the meaning of his reference to the “real world” Mr. Claus was equally vague. Stating, “Well you see everything is relative, so there you have it.” Further inquiries with Mr. Claus brought our reporters no nearer to an understanding of the facts in evidence.

While in the camp our reporters did observe other activities that have disturbing overtones. Fearing to brace Mr. Claus with questions concerning these activities, the reporters photographed the action and have submitted the photos to military experts for analysis. Under a restraining order from Homeland Security we are unable to publish most of the photos. However, our correspondents did withhold one photo from the evidence they submitted to the government. You may be the judge, is this evidence of a paramilitary training exercise?




This photo has not been retouched in any way and is submitted to the reading public for their edification.
This publication is strongly committed to the belief that:

“The Public Has A Right To Know”
Our intrepid reporters will be following this story in the field as it progresses. No effort will be spared to uncover the truth behind these startling discoveries.

Stay tuned for further developments!
 

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RE: Sant's Summer Camp

So funny to see those old photos of guys flying choppers in hats.
 

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Hi,

But that sleigh must be either - a prime mover and Santa has parked the trailers somewhere - for their yearly re-refurbishment/lengthening?


OR is this the new 'secret short trainer' for those fast growing reindeer, possibly the reason for their accelerated growth - it has an electro magnetic brake, made stronger by the close proximity of the magnetic pole?


OR he has a even more secret mechanism hidden deep inside the short sleigh to lengthen/weight it when needed, and as the reindeer gain strength?


If your intrepid reporters have found this 'training camp' somewhere nearby there should be the main storage/assembly camp for all the packages to accumulate for the trip at the end of this year?


More work for your reporters to find answers to! But make sure thwy are well wrapped up, or has the waether up there gone wrong and the noraml weather for that high cold area slipped down over Nort America (and then you sent some of it over to us in the UK - you can have it back with thanks!)



Nice work!!
 

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Shawangunk Mountain Press
February 3, 2009
Late Dispatch
Due to inclement weather this dispatch
has been unavoidably delayed

SM&S RR Buried
January 22, 2009
Freak Snowstorm Inundates the Railroad

Although the Shawangunk Mountain & Southern Railroad has the motto “The Road To The Ice Caves” it is not often that the entire operation is halted due to snow. The local residents of the Shawangunk Valley will long remember January 20, 2009, as the day the world was buried. The record snowfall of over 6 feet of snow fell during the night of January 19th through the morning of January 20th. By sunrise that morning the snow had reached 5 ½ feet and by noon it was slightly over 6 feet deep. This reporter was able to view the valley with the aide of the famous Sikorsky Stealth Helicopter. While surveying the scene from the air several photos of the smothered valley residences were taken. Below is a photo of the home at the Mullenbach Farm.



As you can see the residents are likely to be confined to their home for some time.
We also flew over the SM&S RR Fiddle Yard to check on Railroad operations. Ollie Gibbons was trapped in the Switching Tower for two days before rescue workers were able to clear a path to the area. The SM&S RR reports that Ollie is all right as the Switching Tower is provided with its own source of heat and has a well-stocked kitchen on the first floor. The SM&S RR also indicated that they are unable to resume operations as the snow is beyond the capability of their snow removal equipment. The management of the RR will be looking into acquiring heavier snow removal equipment in the future.


Weather reports indicate that there will be several days of continued cold before a thaw can be expected. With this extreme snow fall the residents of the valley have little choice but to hunker down and wait it out.

Santa’s Summer Camp
January 30, 2009
Antlers, Antlers Every Where,
More “Relativity”

After our last visit to the “training Camp” operated by Mr. S. Claus we reported on the startling rapid aging that seemed to be taking place among the young reindeer in residence at the camp. Suspicious that there may have been some hanky panky played out at our expense, we arranged for the pilot of the Sikorsky Stealth Helicopter to fly off as if returning us to the real world. Meanwhile we secreted our selves in the reindeer stable to be sure that no tricks were being played. What we observed from hiding was even more than we had hoped for. Dear gentle reader please be aware that this tale is very graphic and may upset the faint of heart. So be wary of reading further for the truth is more mystifying than you would suppose.

Shortly after our “departure” Elves from the workshop began preparations for some sort of operation. They constructed a temporary sterile operating room in one stall of the stable by stretching plastic film from ceiling to floor and sealing the seams with Duck tape. This tape is different from the common Duct tape as it has little duckies printed on it. This Duck tape seemed to have a soothing effect on the young reindeer, as they Oohed and Ahhed when they saw it. Next the young deer were led in one at a time and subjected to the most horrendous procedure. With out the aide of any anesthetic the Elves proceeded to bore two holes into the top of the young reindeers’ head. At first we were so horrified that we couldn’t watch. However, the young reindeer appeared to suffer no pain and no ill effects from this operation. In fact they seemed to be quite comfortable with the procedure. Finally, before the animals were led away, a salve was smeared over the opening in their skull.





Once all the eight young reindeer were operated upon the Elves removed the temporary operating room from the stall and left the stable, locking the doors behind them. Trap in the stable for the night we had the opportunity to leave our hiding place and examine the reindeer. They all seemed quite content and healthy despite their recent ordeal. Assuring ourselves that no one would be able to enter the stable without our being aware. We set up a rotating watch schedule to monitor the reindeers’ health through the night.




Sometime after midnight the most amazing thing began to happen. The reindeer began to sprout antlers through the holes drilled in their skulls. By morning they each sported a fully developed set of antlers and the holes had sealed up around the bases. The young reindeer appeared to be healthy, frisky and alert. In addition we noted that the young reindeer appeared to have matured into fully adult reindeer, although remaining rather small in stature. Once the Elves released them from the stable they began to play reindeer games and carried on for the entire morning.



At present we remain in hiding and have secretly sent this dispatch out from the secluded camp. We await further developments on this front and will dispatch additional reports, as we are able.



Editors’ Note:

This report has been delayed due to inclement weather. The reporters are reduced to using Carrier Pigeons to deliver their dispatches. Apparently the Pigeon was snow bound in Maine until a late thaw. The editorial staff apologizes to the loyal reading public for this delay.

This publication is strongly committed to the belief that:
“The Public Has A Right To Know”
Stay tuned for further developments!

P.S. Thank you to who ever was able to edit the title of this post! Spelling is not my forte'!


Bob Rich
 

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Shawangunk Mountain Press
February 4, 2009

Shawangunk Valley Receives
Unusual Second Snowfall

Last night the Shawangunk Valley received its’ second snowstorm of the season. This is highly unusual for the area, which normally only experiences one snow during a winter season. While the accumulation was not as deep as the six-foot accumulation of two weeks ago on January 19, 2009, the area was covered with close to two feet of snow. However, after the last storm the residents of the valley treated this incident more like a holiday. The temperature today has reached a comfortable 400 F, assisting snow removal efforts.



The scene at the Mullenbach farm.
Valley residents are hoping to have life back to normal relatively soon.

Santa’s Summer Camp
February 3, 2009
Santa’s Sleigh Redone,
The Workshop Elves Outdo Themselves By Carrier Pigeon Dispatch


Following the discovery of the overnight growth of antlers on the young reindeer. our reporters reached the end of their emergency food supply. Facing starvation they emerged from their hiding place in the reindeers’ stable and surrendered themselves to the mercy of Mr. Claus and his Elves. Mr. Claus greeted them cordially and noted. “You know young fellows the Elves and I were aware of your scheme from the beginning.” “It is usually considered polite to ask for cooperation before taking such measures as hiding in a stable, however, we have decided that it is time for the world to know a little more about our operation, so we let you snoop to your hearts content.” “To see what was up, so to speak.” Our reporters were then treated to a great feast and put up in luxurious rooms for the night. The next day they were shown the results of the Elves labors over the last couple of weeks. What follows is their report.

In our first report we featured a photo of a new sleigh that Mr. Claus and Company had ordered from the Flexible Flyer Co. This sleigh appeared to these reporters as being rather frivolous in its’ design, color and decoration. Pictured below, you can see that the sleigh was of a totally inappropriate color. In addition it is obvious that the gilding and sparkles were over done.


It appears that Mr. Claus and his Elves agreed with this assessment. Having taken the sleigh back to the workshop the Elves have removed a considerable amount of the garish decorations and repainted the body. The result is much more in tone with the traditional altruistic image of Santa Claus.


When it was noted that there remained some gilding on the sleigh the Head Workshop Elf explained that the gilding was in fact Iron Pyrites. Iron Pyrites is commonly referred to as Fools Gold and is worth no more than common black iron. The Elves have developed a method of plating the Iron Pyrites onto the hardened steel runners without loosing the shinny false gold coloring. A quick chemical test performed by Bash McElnea confirmed that the substance was indeed Iron Pyrites.

In an interview after the displaying of the renovated sleigh Mr. Claus stated his desire to establish a regular liaison with the press of the Real World. Stating, “Please call me Santa.” He expressed his concern that the children of the modern world were loosing their belief in miracles and by extension, himself. “This operation has existed for hundreds of years”, he said. “It is powered by children’s innocent belief in Santa and his mission to deliver presents to the world on Christmas Eve.” “Without their faith in our existence, all of us, the Elves, the Flying Reindeer, the Toy Factory and Myself will slowly disappear from the world.” So we, Slash and Bash reporters for the Shawangunk Mountain Press put it to you dear readers that we have come to believe, “There is a Santa Claus and he is alive and well at the North Pole.” DON’T GIVE UP YOUR BELIEF.

Editors’ Note: The Editor wishes to thank the loyal readers who have contributed their "Letters to the Editor." This free exchange of ideas and opinions is the foundation of a Free Press.


Former staff reporters Slash DeYoung and Bash McElnea have obviously become emotionally involved in their story. This is contrary to publication policy and therefore these reporters have been recalled. Word has reached us through Carrier Pigeon that they are refusing to return to the Real World for psychiatric evaluation. The editorial staff apologizes to the loyal reading public for this breakdown in the high standard of objective reporting maintained by this publication. This publication is strongly committed to the belief that:
“The Public Has A Right To Know” Stay tuned for further developments!
 

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Bob

Really enjoying your creativity, both on the project and the "essay/newsletter". Thanks for the smiles.
 
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