Tidge Mackiewicz, has proof the German Luftwaffe shot down Santa Claus on Christmas Eve in 1944. Tidge wears a treasured scuffed and stained Army Air Corps flight jacket that still carried the lingering redolence of old tobacco and stale booze and has proof the jacket belonged to Santa Claus.
Tidge Mackiewicz, a modern day family patriarch, has proof the Luftwaffe shot down Santa Claus on Christmas Eve in 1944 and he survived. Tidge wears a treasured scuffed and stained Army Air Corps flight jacket that still carried the lingering redolence of old tobacco and stale booze and has proof the jacket belonged to Santa Claus. Although tarnished by an incident at age six when he called a department store Santa a "fat bastard," his belief rules every stage of his life.
On his death bed, Tidge's father, Kid Scream, gave feeble orders to his son to carry out a trinity of commands. The first, "Get your head out of your ass and toss Brew's goddamn jacket and ragged ass Santa suit into the trash," preceded a second order, "Stop acting like every day is Christmas." He tried to hammer home his belief in his family to his son, a last dying breath exhaling his command. "This screwed up family is yours now. Unscrew them.
Tidge believes he finally has his special gift to carry out his father's orders. Nothing can deter him. Not Willy's mother, a sophisticated alcoholic and former professional wrestler who demonstrated her once famous "See 'em" hold on Tidge's youngest brother. Watching Willy consume too much Swedish glogg doesn't stop him. An annual Christmas season phone call from his boyhood friend, Humper provides the last piece of evidence to Santa's World War II heroics and the rationale for The Jacket bringing Tidge and his daughter, Martha together and the unscrewing of the screwed up Mackiewicz family.
The Jacket is a 2013 grand prize winner of the "Books Without Publishers" writing contest.
Richard Baran holds a doctorate and two masters' degrees besides his bachelor's in business. A Navy veteran, he taught and coached for forty years at the secondary school and collegiate levels. His publishing credits include, "Coaching Football's Polypotent Offense", a coaching text, a short story, "That Ain't No Walleye" and several dozen articles in professional business, education and coaching journals. He and his wife have eighteen grandchildren and they divide their year between Franklin Park, Illinois, Phoenix, Arizona and Minocqua, Wisconsin.