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Santa Rides a Mini-Cycle

The Hutchinson News
Thursday, Dec. 12, 1974

In Hutchinson


Santa rides a mini-cycle

By Gerald Hay


   Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and he’s riding the streets of Hutchinson on an 18-inch mini-motorcycle.

   With his beard and long, white hair rippled by the wind, Santa stoops over his seemingly too small cycle and zooms here and there, spreading Christmas cheer.

   Up the streets, down the streets, in businesses and out of businesses, he was sighted over the weekend at various city locations.


Going Santa

   The jolly old Saint Nick is KWBW newsman William (Hod) Humiston, 833 East B, dressed incognito.  He was hired by the Chamber of Commerce to complete the downtown Christmas celebration for the next two Saturdays.

   “I like to be a going Santa Claus,” he said.  “I hate to see a Santa Claus who sits on his butt.”

   This is Humiston’s 20th year playing the jolly old holiday visitor that all children eagerly await each Christmas Eve.

   Complete with red and white costume, black boots rounded out by a spare pillow borrowed from home, he dashs into businesses, shaking hands, tells the children to be nice and with a mighty “ho ho ho” and a “Merry Christmas” departs for other destinations.

   The newsman said the sight of an approaching Santa Claus still brings a sparkle to the eyes of children and a glow to their young faces.

   “When they see me coming down the street or pull up beside me in their parent’s car, they wave and get all excited.  Even a few of the former Santa believers (parents) wave and honk their car horns as they pass by, “ Humiston said.


Spirit Counts

   “I haven’t seen anyone who hates Santa Claus.  It’s the spirit of the thing that counts—and I hope this is one myth that never dies—at least I hope it doesn’t.”

   Asked why the mini-cycle, the incognito Santa said “it was a new wrinkle” to the celebration of Christmas.

   “We call it Santa’s 10th reindeer,” he said.

   While breezing down the street at a speed of about 10 mph, Humiston said his beard flys apart due to the wind caused by the cycle’s motion.

   Speaking of beards, the radio newsman said ever-present inflation has even affected the Santa Claus business.
  He bought a new red and white suit this year and the purchase price was a whopping $150.  The whiskers and hair alone cost about $35 each.  Sleigh bells from Belgium complete the illusion.

   Yet, inflation could not stop this diehard Santa who said he does this each year because he “loves kids.”

   “I always want to be a Santa on the go and not one who lets the children come to him,” Humiston said.

  And off he went.  Santa didn’t shout “on Dasher, on Dancer, on Cupid…”, as he rode into a nearby street.  This year, his shouts were more like:  “On Honda so we can make this green light.”



Submitted by Phyllis Long on January 1, 2004.

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