Page 35

St. Michaels’ Santa Wants Everyone to Believe by Dick Cooper

Tom Campi’s eyes get misty and his voice cracks a little as he talks about his lifetime of experiences making small children happy and bringing back fond memories to adults. His hobby ~ it might be more accurate to say his alter-ego ~ is being Santa Claus every holiday season for more than four decades. Campi, a retired dentist, doesn’t just dress up in a store-bought red suit and shout “Ho, Ho, Ho!” He goes through an emotional transformation and becomes Santa. For the last 16 years, he has been pleasing crowds along Talbot Street as the jolly old soul in his adopted hometown during the annual Christmas in St. Michaels Weekend. Looking back, he dates his fascination with Santa Claus and the Christmas spirit to his early childhood growing up in Asbury Park, New Jersey. “Christmas was always a highlight. We had a great, close family and I always looked forward to the visits from the grandparents and the cooking on Christmas Eve. I remember one evening when my mom was driving the car and I was a little kid in the back seat. I swore

Santa and Mrs. Claus that I saw Santa’s sleigh in the sky. There was something wonderful inside of me at that time knowing that the spirit of St. Nicholas was a spirit of giving.” Campi says he was in his sophomore year at Fairleigh Dickinson Un iver sit y S chool of Dent i st r y when he first became Santa. “I was Santa for my nieces and nephews at Christmas parties. It was a thrill to 35

December 2013 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times December 2013

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you