Greg Selby will spend the weeks leading up to Christmas traveling around Williamsburg with a helper, handing out Beanie Babies to children. He took a few minutes from his work to talk about what drives him.
Why travel by motorcycle?
I already owned a red motorcycle and I like to pass out stuff to kids. I’ve always dressed as Santa so I decided to combine the two.
What kind of reaction do you get?
Kids can’t believe it and some are a little afraid. That is why I have them approach by the side car. I have a helper with me — either Mrs. Claus or an elf — who has the beanie babies on their lap. I take pictures with them. Parents sometimes want to give a donation, but I don’t take any money. A lady from New York City, said if there someone like me where she lived, they would charge at least $15 to have their picture taken.
Do you have a usual route?
I ride mostly in the Colonial part on Duke of Gloucester Street and behind the barriers. I’ve never been written a ticket.
What is the strangest question a kid has asked you?
Well, one time a boy asked if I was the real Santa. I asked him, “Do you think I think I am the real Santa?” He stepped back and then nodded his head yes.
How do you stay busy in the off season?
I like to go boating on the James River and Chickahominy River. I am retired from the Coast Guard so I am required to enjoy the water. I also scuba dive. Of course, I enjoy wood working, especially making toys.
Many of the Beanie Babies Sidecar Santa distributes are donations. To donate, contact Selby by email firstname.lastname@example.org