I was awakened one morning by an enthusiastic gentleman, Robert Hancock, with a wonderful story about
Dunder and Blixem. Laurence Hancock, his father and a judge then still on the New York bench, had been
a friend of an Episcopalian priest and Henry descendant, Father Harold Thomas. I had already received one letter from someone else who
wanted to tell us about this wonderful man.
The story with which Father Thomas had frequently regaled his
friends was about Henry's authorship of the poem.
The names of the reindeer, Father Thomas had
said, were those of the horses in Henry's stable!
Now that would have set me back on my heels if I weren't
already flat on my back. What a wonderful way to wake up. The idea was simply perfect and felt so right.
But my attempts, and those of my cousin Steve, to follow this particular thread have, so far, led nowhere. A
pointer to another Henry descendant, Maud Katzenbach, brought out more anecdotes of Father Thomas,
but she and her sister had been too young to be interested in an old man's stories, and had paid them no
mind. Henry's Day Book was no help because when thinking about the horses as sources of debt or credit,
Henry used descriptions rather than names.
Feb 28 '75 Gave my black horse to John Van Kleeck for a pied Mare and £6 to boot. If I dislike her I am to
But we're not giving up the search for more information.