The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 14, 2014

Guess Who! Week 11!

— So he was one hot Santa, even warmer than the greetings he received while portraying St. Nick across his Valley town. His first year as the Jolly Old Elf, in 2014, was his oddest volunteer effort yet, he says. “It was strange. People look at you a little differently. They automatically cheer up and smile. Not just one person, but everyone.” He hasn’t returned the costume just yet, and is sweating it out to see whether he’ll be asked to represent Kriss Kringle again. If only Santa’s threads would breathe a tad. “The hardest part is that the costume is hot,” he says. “Outdoors it’s not bad, but inside that little cottage, it gets a little hot.” So too was the woman that became his wife. “I wasn’t dating her yet,” he says. “I was out dancing at a club and she came out. She was really hot because she was wearing a sweater. I gave her my T-shirt. We still have that T-shirt, 22 years later.” Might even wear that black Harley-Davidson T to Loch Gill, in the Calraighe region of Ireland, a trip that is No. 1 on his bucket list. “Just to see where my ancestors are from.” His ancestors are also those who handed down that 130-year-old piano that he just can’t seem to master. “I love it, and it’s been through generations of my family,” he says. “I tinker around with it now every now and then.” Other than Santa, he might even wish he could portray the keyboardist in his favorite group of all time, in the progressive rock band Kansas. “They,” he said, “are fantastic.” After shelling out whatever is left of the $1M he hasn’t won, after that trip to Ireland, paying off his daughters’ educations and buying his dream muscle car — “a two-door, 1973 Chrysler New Yorker with a .440 engine. It’s got the fuselage built into it, with a big, tough-looking front end” — he’d take his wife on “a nice, romantic, steak dinner. Someplace exotic.” Look for the woman in the black Harley-Davidson T-shirt. Guess Who! in the discussion box to the right!