Turlock makes television news and even onto CNN’s website after KCRA 3 News reported a complaint by Turlock resident Monica Sliva about a sign of a “Cowboy Santa” with a holstered pistol on his hip while holding a sign saying “Merry Christmas Y’ALL” at the Tracy’s Christmas Tree Lot in Turlock, located at Monte Vista Avenue and Geer Road.
According to the KCRA 3 News report Sliva believed the cut-out plywood sign sent the wrong message of influencing kids to carry guns instead of the holiday cheer Santa is associated with.
Workers at the lot covered the gun after Sliva complained to them not really knowing what to do after 20 years of no complaints. The sign was temporarily taken down but then put back up by the end of the day, but not before the gun was covered with a piece of cardboard.
Kelly Tracy, operator of the Tracy’s Christmas Tree Lot, didn’t know what to think when he found out the television news crew was out to cover the complaint by Sliva.
“I’ve had that sign up for pretty much 20 years,” said Tracy. “It’s a non issue and they (the news) made a big deal out of nothing.”
Monica Sliva is not new to making it onto television news.
Since Wednesday and as of today (Thursday night), the “Cowboy Santa” display is up but remains censored.
After Tracy saw overwhelming support on the Turlock City News facebook to not only keep the sign up but uncover the gun, Tracy said that he’ll probably leave it censored for a few days just to be sensitive and let things die down but will think about taking off the cardboard that is covering the image of the gun.
Kelly Tracy refused to take a picture next to the Cowboy Santa but only in principle, as the gun still remains covered.