A happy jolly Poquoson Virginia native, real white Santa beard included. I have performed at hospitals, child day care centers, nursing homes, schools, company functions, naval ships, breakfast with Santa, as a strolling Santa at a major mall and various other activities. I love children and enjoy the role all year long.
* I have received a flu shot in November of this year.
* I carry $2,000,000 worth of entertainment insurance coverage.
York Town Crier – The Poquoson Post
It's beginning to look a lot like Santa season, and local Santa J.B. Smith of Poquoson is making a list of places he will be visiting this year.
At press time, there was no word as to how many times he planned on checking the list.
Smith took a roundabout path to impersonating the world's most famous mall-walker. His first Christmas presents were delivered to Panama, where his father and grandfather worked and lived in the Canal Zone.
He came to the U.S. in the 1950s when he began a 23-year career in the Air Force. He retired in 1979.
After his term of service, Smith did a variety of jobs, working at an employment agency, as exterminator, at the Times Dispatch - now the Daily Press - and as a representative for Entenmanns's and Thomas English Muffins.
For the past seven years Smith has donned the big red suit.
His white beard is 100 percent real. When he puts on the hat and glasses, he is an uncanny match for the iconic soda bottle Santa.
He has a custom-made suit and a brass SANTA belt buckle. Smith looks enough like the real thing that he occasionally gets stopped in the street by youngsters in the "off-season."
He explained that being Santa was sometimes "a year-long job," and a service to the community that he finds very rewarding.
Smith has a diverse clientele in a wide variety of venues. He has made appearances in homes, schools, office parties, homeowner's association events, daycare centers, nursing homes, the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Enterprise and of course, the mall.
The overwhelming appeal of Santa has no age limit, according to Smith. Apparently people from 1 to 92 really do enjoy a visit from Santa.
He believes his people skills are his most important qualification for the job. He views the job as an opportunity to help parents during the season.
He offers kids the "Pinky Pledge to Santa," he asks kids to promise to behave before he listens to their requests.
This year Smith will be working as a "Strolling Santa" at the Williamsburg Prime Outlet Mall on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m., from Black Friday to Christmas Eve.
The job means a great deal to Smith. "It's a great feeling when you see the kids, and their eyes light up when they see you." He said.
By Rob Meisner 2007