Santa James

“Slowly, in this town of 25,000 mostly retirees and blue-collar workers, where untethered wanderers roll off Interstate 40 like so many tumbleweeds, residents let down their guard for one peculiar 68-year-old man few call James or Zyla. Here, he’s Santa James.”

—John M. Glionna, “A homeless man wandered in one day, and this Arizona town adopted him.” The Los Angeles Times. April 4, 2019.

First installment of relaunched Column One with off-beat character stories.