David Bates, Tulsa Santa, featured in Urban Tulsa Weekly

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The December 18-24, 2008, issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly includes a feature story about Santa David Bates by managing editor Katie Sullivan. Some clips:

Bates is in his fourth year as one of Tulsa's many Santas that grace the city's holiday surroundings and events. After retiring four years ago from St. Francis hospital, Bates decided to kick off his boots, relax and let his hair down -- or, in this case, his beard grow out.

Bates' friends and family members then began to notice his strong resemblance to Santa Claus, and this compelled Bates to dress as Santa for Halloween one year. In his full garb on Halloween night, Bates thoroughly enjoyed each and every time he heard the doorbell ring. The neighborhood trick-or-treaters shared his joy. Their faces changed instantly when Bates opened the door. Some kids froze with astonished looks on their faces, wondering if Bates was crazy and had mistaken which holiday it was. Others immediately lit up and yelled, "Santa!" Naturally, Bates handed out candy canes, which he said "are extremely hard to find in October." It was in the reactions from the kids that Bates reveled. "Where's Rudolph? and "Why are you here?" were some of the children's inquiries.

After that night, Bates knew this would be one Halloween costume worth resurrecting. Shortly after, he heard Philbrook needed a replacement Santa to fill in for the season. "That's when I fell in love with doing it," Bates said. "I don't do malls or shopping centers. Those are too strenuous." He keeps his holiday season schedule full of small individual gatherings, private parties, nursing homes, museum and library trips and hospital visits....

The gentle giant mentality comes naturally to Bates, a loving father and grandfather who boasted of his own kids' and grandkids' achievements. "You couldn't do this job without having the joy and pleasure of children. That's the best part." Bates also likes to hand out a card to the children he sees that explains God's love for them and that the greatest gift of all was Jesus Christ. For Bates, the legacy and tradition hold the utmost value.

Tulsa Santa David Bates is on the web at santatulsa.com. I'm very proud of my dad and happy that he's found such a fun and rewarding role in his retirement.

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1 Comments

Paul Tay Author Profile Page said:

Glad to know there are more than one village IDIOT in town impersonating the fat guy.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 18, 2008 8:57 AM.

Tulsa Boy Singers Christmas concerts was the previous entry in this blog.

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