A local Santa’s helper and our family’s personal Santa has decided to end a 50-year span of wearing a red suit and sporting a white beard.
It started back in 1969 when Santa —a.k.a. Miles Barrere — was a district manager for Sears; he bought his first red suit for the bargain price of $9.95 and wore it to add emphasis to his presentation of the Sears Christmas Catalog, fondly known as the “Wish Book”, to the stores of the district.
Back home in Wilmington, word of the red suit led to numerous visits to Christmas parties in homes, clubs and businesses as well as appearances to greet customers in businesses.
Many photos and fond memories have been our reward, with his most memorable and most enjoyable being his annual visit to a mothers club, of which I, his wife, was a member. I’m sure he enjoyed the beautiful mature mothers sitting on his knee for pictures.
Anyway, as his last hurrah, he chose a sunny Christmas day afternoon ride on his favorite restored classic Cockshutt tractor.
Retiring the red suit is a bit sad. However, we all know Santa and his helpers will be with us forever. —Marilyn Barrere