Like everyone, there came that year when I began to question. There was no particular reason. I had just come to the age of questioning lots of things, trying to make sense of my world. I had had some suspicions, but since I couldn't see anything good coming from a flat, once-and-for-all denial, I kept believing at some level. Then there was this sleigh ride, which has kept me believing at some level ever since.
As best as I can recall, I was in 6th grade, so I would have been 11. We lived next to a shopping center that had a large parking lot. It was a great playground for the neighborhood kids, and an arena for periodic shows and attractions sponsored by the merchants. Small carnivals, fishing tanks, and petting zoos were common. Once they featured a diver who jumped from a high tower into a small flaming pool of water. During December of 1962, they offered sleigh rides around the parking lot.