In 1955, a Colorado Springs-based Sears store ran an advertisement encouraging children to call Santa Claus on a special telephone hotline. Due to a printing error, the phone number that was printed was the hotline for the Director of Operations at the Continental Air Defense (CONAD). Colonel Harry Shoup took the first Santa call on Christmas Eve of 1955 from a six-year old boy who began reciting his Christmas list. Shoup didn’t find the call funny, but after asking the mother of the second caller what was happening, then realizing the mistake that occurred, he instructed his staff to give Santa’s position to any child who called in.
Thus a tradition was born. I remember, as a kid listening to and then later watching the NORAD reports on Christmas Eve,1967 . We were stationed at Fort Carson Colorado, in the shadow of Cheyenne Mountain so the reports were not to be doubted.
I’ve carried on the tradition and now we track Santa on the Internet.
NORAD Tracks Santa® Operations Center is fully operational beginning at 3:00a.m. MST on December 24th. You can call 1 877 HI-NORAD (1 877 446-6723) to talk directly to a NORAD staff member who will be able to tell you Santa’s exact location. Operators are available until 3:00a.m. on Dec. 25th to answer your calls!
In honor of the 50th anniversary of NASA, I humbly offer this story.
Good Luck Mr. Gorsky
When Apollo astronaut Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon, he not only gave his famous “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” statement but followed it by several remarks, usually com traffic between him, the other astronauts and Mission Control. Just before he re-entered the Lander, however, he made the enigmatic remark:”Good luck Mr. Gorsky.”Many people at NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning some rival Soviet Cosmonaut. However, upon checking, there was no Gorsky in either the Russian or American space programs. Over the years many people questioned Armstrong as to what the “Good luck Mr. Gorsky” statement meant, but Armstrong always just smiled.
But, on July 5, 1995 in Tampa Bay FL, while answering questions following a speech, a reporter brought up the 26-year-old question to Armstrong. This time he finally responded. Mr. Gorsky had finally died and so Neil Armstrong felt he could answer the question.
When he was a kid, he was playing baseball with a friend in the backyard. His friend hit a fly ball, which landed in the front of his neighbor’s bedroom windows. His neighbors were Mr. & Mrs. Gorsky. As he leaned down to pick up the ball, young Armstrong heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky, “Oral sex! You want oral sex?! You’ll get oral sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!”