MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — To behold the nearly block-long display Ronnie Cain creates for Christmas at his Maple Avenue home in Westover these days, it’s hard to believe it all started with a discount Santa suit.
But that’s pretty much how it happened, he said.
Back 32 years ago, Cain and his wife were out shopping at Heck’s, where they stumbled upon a suit on sale. So Cain, on a whim, went ahead and snatched it up.
“That was a week night, on Tuesday, Dec. 22, and there was something going on down at the church that my wife was involved in, so she was down there and I was here all by myself and just had some lights on — nothing like now — but I had that Santa suit, so I just thought, ‘Well, let’s just put it on’ — it was nice and warm that night, in the ‘60s — and I was just gonna wave at kids and stuff. And I was out there and I was waving, and a van with nine kids stopped up there and saw me down there, and they just had to come down to see me. So the grandma brought those kids down, and when they got out, they took a run, all nine of them, and all they could do was keep me from falling down. I had to put one foot behind the other. They grabbed my arms and my legs and around my neck, and they had tears in their eyes and they did not want to leave and it just kind of got to me…