About 20 years ago, I a joined the local chapter of a fraternal organization. The Immediate Past President, John M came up to me and said, “You should be a Santa!” I had dark hair and no beard at the time and I told John get out of here, me a Santa No way. John M and his wife moved from Warren to Campbell to take care of his mother-in-law. Over the years, my third daughter was sprinkled with the music gene, and become a certified liturgical organist. This daughter, at only 17, gets the job as organist and choir director at the parish in Campbell. Since this daughter does not drive my wife drives her one week and I take her the following week. Guess who is in church, John M. No hi John great to see you. John M says, “You should be a Santa!” I say, get out of here, me a Santa No way. Every other week John encourages me to be a Santa. Finally I give in and say we will talk next time I am here in Campbell. The next Sunday my wife come home from the church in Campbell and tells me John M is excited to talk to you. I tell her I know all about it John M want me to be a Santa. The next weekend I drive my daughter to the church in Campbell. People in the pews and the pastor from the pulpit announce that John M died last Monday. What do I do now? I found the Buckeye Santas and went to a meeting. What a happy jolly group of great guys and gals. Who would not want to become a Santa! I learned more and become a member of International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas and Heart of Ohio Santas. I have attended the International University of Santa Claus (School4Santa) in Columbus, Ohio, August 13, 2017, where I earned my Bachelor of Santa Claus and took the Santa Clause Oath. I also went to the St. Nicholas Institute Retreat & Seminar at St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center, Detroit, Michigan: October 1-4, 2018. Last year I started as St. Nicholas visiting preschools and kindergartens and as Santa elementary schools and private homes. 2018, I was the Santa for the Brecksville, Ohio Community Theatre Children’s production of Elf Jr, Petitti Garden Centers and businesses and families. October 2019, I will attend the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School in Midland, Michigan.
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