Reflections | Lifestyle Magazine RHR Vol14 No5 - Page 58

PURSUITS A W I T H A C E R T I F I C AT E B Y C H E R Y L PA N G B O R N PHOTOGRAPHY BY K A I T LY N D E LO N G P H O T O G R A P H Y OU MIGHT HAVE SEEN HIM WALKING THE AISLES OF PUBLIX, BUYING STAMPS FROM THE POST OFFICE, OR GRABBING A CAPPUCCINO AT WAY STATION COFFEE CO. IN HIS STREET CLOTHES—A SNOWY WHITE BEARD AND RED HAWAIIAN SHIRT—DUANE CARLTON BEARS AN UNCANNY RESEMBLANCE TO A VACATIONING MR. CLAUS. But just wait; come time to suit up, this Santa-lookalike transforms into the jolliest of St. Nicks. A Santa with a certificate, Duane graduated from a school founded just for Santas to ensure that all your Christmas wishes come true. Duane, a naturally jolly man, decided to pursue something a little different in his post-re- tirement years. Having lived by the idea that “Christmas is in your heart all the time,” Duane felt that his signature look was the perfect way to keep Christmas alive for his own grandkids. Since his graduation, he’s spent the holiday season spreading Christmas cheer to the kids (and spirited grownups) of Richmond Hill. So, what goes on behind-the-scenes in a profes- sional Claus’ life? According to Duane, his education wasn’t much different than any other trade school. His aspirations to become a certified Santa weren’t any- thing grandiose, rather a simple and fun way to nur- ture the spirit of Christmas. In 2016, Duane attended the Charles W. Howard School in Midland, Michigan. During his three-day training at this 81-year-old uni- 56 Re f lectionsMediaCommunications.com