This is a Christmas story of family origins and cultural history as told to a young boy by his grandfather. Seven-year old Terrence learns many valuable life lessons over a period of several weeks while reluctantly having to ride the bus driven by his grandfather each Sunday. Nicholas Mann is a 25-year veteran bus driver in New York City. He is an amateur historian able to recall various bits of fact and trivia about the city and its past. But the story most dear to the young boy is the one his grandfather tells of Saint Nicholas and his companion Pete who travel to the new world of New Amsterdam sometime in the 1500's. Mann's story is being told to a group of regular fare paying passengers who are stuck on the bus in Manhattan on Christmas Eve in a snowstorm that has stranded them.
The unlikely pair, St. Nicholas is an elderly Dutch Bishop while Pete is a Moor from Spain, met while St. Nicholas was being held in a Spanish jail as a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition on charges of being a spy and Pete was the prison cook. After leaving the jail by miraculous means the two men bring cheer and hope to children at Christmas time in Holland. One year they travel to America to visit the many children of Dutch ancestry who had immigrated to the new land. They bring good tidings to a family of slaves (the ancestor of Nicholas Mann and his grandson), help to bring about a peaceful resolution to conflict between the native population of Lenape Indians and the settlers of the colony, and acquire the trademark reindeer that pull the sleigh. Santa & Pete is a charming and light-hearted holiday book celebrating family and the holidays.
This report prepared by David Fletcher