|Photo: Krisitna Barker|
"Santa," in this case, is Belle Fourche resident Jim Emery, whose failing kidneys forced him to reduce his large herd of reindeer to just five animals this year. That's not enough to even fill one verse of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," but because Emery was so sick and on dialysis treatment three days a week, it was all he could handle.
But thanks to a kidney transplant at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, Emery is feeling great and back in the reindeer raising business. The man who has portrayed Santa Claus in and around Belle Fourche for the last 35 years once again has the energy he needs to wrangle not only Rudolph, but also Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, and Donner and Blitzen, too.
"I feel great," Emery said earlier this month while unloading two reindeer at Storybook Island for their annual appearance at the Rapid City children's theme park that is wrapped in twinkling Christmas lights through Dec. 31.
Read more: http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/communities/belle_fourche/recovering-santa-looks-forward-to-expanding-reindeer-herd/article_e8b6de36-2d1d-11e1-b02c-0019bb2963f4.html#ixzz1hNS3wCFd