NORRIDGEWOCK — Firefighter James Gordon has been visiting older folks in town dressed in a Santa suit for the past 25 years. He was back at it on Saturday, arriving with his helpers in a fire truck, bringing candy and season’s greetings to more than 150 people all over town.

At the Fairmont Circle Drive housing community off Sophie May Lane, Gordon pulled up at around 10 a.m. with Christmas music playing from two speakers mounted on the truck. At the women’s residences, Santa walked in with a loud “Ho, ho, ho” asking all the ladies if they had been good this year.

“I said no — because he knows me better than that,” Colleta Tracy joked. “I will try to be good, but it’s a hard thing to do.”

When asked the same question, Tracy’s neighbor Evelyn Wright said “ah … about half and half”.

Santa brought them all Haviland chocolate-covered thin mints, nicely wrapped by his wife Pamela with a tag from the Norridgewock Fireman’s Association. Joining the jolly old elf for his rounds on Saturday were Norridgewock firefighters Alan and Dennis Obert, along with Gordon’s grandson Hunter Allen.

“There was a Santa Claus before me, but when I started doing it we started with senior citizens; that was the first time anybody had done that,” Gordon, 65, said. “That was 25 years ago. We thought the seniors would enjoy it because they don’t get out to the stores to see the Santa Clauses.”

Gordon, a 27-year veteran of the Norridgewock Fire Department, said he and his helpers used to visit children, as well, but when all the other Santas started showing up in stores, he said they decided to concentrate on older people in town.

“It got to the point where every store had a Santa Claus, so we kind of cut that out and we just went with seniors,” he said. “We have a route all through the town and we know where most everybody is and we just go house to house.

“It takes about seven hours to do the whole thing. We just try and get everybody.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

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