Saturday, December 17, 2011

Santa's Land Closing

Putney, VT 121711 Butch Johnson (cq) left, of Vernon, VT, who last visited the park twenty odd years ago and who came this weekend with his son and his family (not in photo) and the Swallow (Cq) family of Palmer, MA: (l to r) Danny (Cq), 11 (orange cap), Hunter (cq), 8, and their parents (mom and dad) await on December 17, 2011 for Santa's Land Express as they visited Santa's Land, a Putney, VT, Christmas theme park since 1957, which is closing its doors. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ MET
BEHIND THE SCENES: When an editor asks me if I feel like taking a ride I usually just answer, "Sure, where am I going." This time it was Putney, VT, about 2.5 hours away from Boston. The home of Santa's Land which was closing its doors after having been an attraction cherished by generation after generation since 1957. We as journalists get used to not paying to enter places like these because we are indeed working when we are there. But today I was a bit taken aback when I was told, "It's $10.60 to get it in..." It certainly wasn't the price but the fact that I was paying to do a story on them. But after I thought it over for a bit I realized why not? This was its last weekend and every penny counts. So more power to them. There were still some ponies, and llamas around but a lot of the animals which used to be part of their regular attractions were no longer there. Interesting enough the park was filled with people on this day. Some heard about its closing and wanted to rekindle a childhood memory, others had never been there before and figure they'd at least visit once before it went the way of the dodo. The forlorn look on the faces of the people waiting for Santa's Land Express told the story best in my opinion... however I'm pretty sure that is not what will make the paper tomorrow. TECH STUFF: 2 cameras: Mark IV and Nikon D3s, a 24-70mm 2.8 and a 70-200mm 2.8 w a 1.4TC. ISOs 640, speeds 400 to 1600.

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