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Pat Shingleton: "The Bishop of Myra and Chester's Ears..."

5 months 2 weeks 2 days ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 December 06, 2016 4:10 AM in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton


Today is the Feast of St. Nicholas and since the fifth century it has been celebrated on this date. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra which is modern-day Turkey.  The Little Blue Book - Advent and Christmas Seasons mentions that Nicholas aided people in need, anonymously throwing small bags of gold in their windows. The legend has the bags landing in stockings drying near the fireplace. His generosity encouraged others to give gifts during Candlemas.  English reformers replaced Nicolas with Father Christmas, believing he was too close to the Catholic Church. Later the name became Santa Claus and Clement Moore gave him a sleigh, reindeer, pipe, bag and a chimney in "The Night Before Christmas." KIt's all about the Seasons and Chester Greenwood’s ears were sensitive to cold. when exposed, they turned a variety of colors during the harsh Maine winters. His wool scarf caused an allergic reaction. With some assistance from his grandmother, Chester solved the problem by looping two pieces of wire with fur sewn to the ends.  According to the United States Patent Office, he patented a device that included a steel band that better secured the fur pads, and called it Greenwood's Champion Ear Protectors, later forming the Greenwood Ear Protector Factory. We know them as "ear muffs" and Chester's hometown of Farmington, Maine is recognized as the Earmuff Capital of the World. The first Saturday in December is his birthday that includes an Ear Muff Parade.

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