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Searching for Santa

This time of year in East Texas you never know where he’ll turn up: on lawns and roofs, in trees, and even some places that may sleigh you.

By December 1997Comments

Searching for Santa

On Christmas eve starry-eyed children may search the heavens for a glimpse of Santa and his reindeer, but O. Rufus Lovett takes a more down-to-earth approach. Every December the Longview photographer, best known for his portraits of Kilgore’s sassy Rangerettes, shoulders his camera bag and then dashes, dances, prances, and blitzes around East Texas’ indescribable displays of outdoor decor, hoping to catch Mr. Claus red-handed. “People around here go all out for yard art,” Lovett says, “especially at Christmas and especially with Santa Claus.” Lovett’s portfolio reveals the many sides of Saint Nick, from predictably merry to surprisingly reverent. But as different as the faces may be, one thing is constant with the jolly old elf: You laugh when you see him in spite of yourself.

Photography by O. Rufus Lovett

Santa meets the baby Jesus - Kilgore, TX 1993
Santa meets the baby Jesus – Kilgore, TX 1993


Tractor - New Hope, TX 1996
Tractor – New Hope, TX 1996


Cowboy - Kilgore, TX 1995
Cowboy – Kilgore, TX 1995


White Santa - Weeping Mary, TX 1994
White Santa – Weeping Mary, TX 1994


Garbage Bags - Gladewater, 1995
Garbage Bags – Gladewater, TX 1995


Silhouette - Longview, TX 1992
Silhouette – Longview, TX 1992

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