Wee Asked Kris Kringle AKA Robert Gaudio

WEEasked some simple questions — and your neighbors, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, even some strangers, answered. Get to know them a little bit better with our fun series, “WEEasked.” Look for it a couple of times a month, most likely on Mondays. Do you have someone you’d like to see featured? Send us an email to weelunk@weelunk.com, and please be sure to put WEEasked in the subject line.

Maybe Robert Gaudio took his role of Kris Kringle in the recent production of  “Miracle on 34th Street,” at Towngate Theatre a little too seriously. That beard. These answers.

While it may have been his favorite on-stage role in a years, it’s just one more he adds to a litany: spouse of Clare McDonald, brother of five siblings, father of three, grandfather of three, writer, musician, composer, director, criminal-defense attorney, steel mill worker, university professor, Peace Corps volunteer, fine dining chef, restaurant manager and board member. Busy guy, and then when’s delivering all those presents on Christmas Eve? Really busy! But, never too busy to help out a friend.

Robert Gaudio with wife Clare and son David.

Here’s what “Kris Kringle” answered when WEEasked:

What’s your favorite view in the Ohio Valley?

There are so many great vistas in the Upper Ohio Valley. I love to fly over the area and look at them from the sleigh. Rudolph’s nose glows a bit brighter when he sees his favorite valley places, by the way. Two of my favorites that come to mind are the gorgeous views of the Ohio River Valley from the Wheeling Overlook and the Wellsburg Wharf.

If you could be the best at anything in the world, what would it be?

I would be the best provider of happy moments to all children throughout the world. Not just at Christmas, but all year round.

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Alex Fabrizio, Patricia Jeffers, Robert Gaudio, Reagan Hughes and Clare Seibert in “Miracle on 34th Street.”

What’s your favorite night out on the town?

It’s more of a night “in” rather than a night “out.” On Boxing Day, I love to kick back at home with pizza, some milk and cookies and a comedy DVD, preferably something starring Bill Murray. “Scrooged” is a particular favorite.

Tell us something that would surprise Weelunk readers about you?

In my long lifetime, I have passed over 2,351 mental-health examinations!

What’s the best part of your job?

Spreading the Spirit of Christmas all over the world and watching the results: A time of peace, goodwill, and people helping people.

Robert Gaudio and Briele Dobson in “Miracle on 34th Street.”

What book is on your nightstand or e-reader right now?

I love reading books. Especially at bedtime and on Sunday afternoons. Real, hardcover books. Right now, I am re-reading Valentine Davies’ novelization of “Miracle on 34th Street” (Shock!) and the Koran in the ancient Arabic. I am also in the middle of reading 2013’s “The Bully Pulpit” by Doris Kearns Goodwin, a new one for me. A tremendous read!

What is your wish for Wheeling?

My wishes and hopes for Wheeling, W.Va., are several: That she will continue to grow and improve, and that she will fiercely maintain her reputation as The Friendly City, a compassionate city that sustains its residents and that welcomes and provides solace and opportunity to those who are displaced and looking for a home in which to work, to contribute to the community and to prosper. And, of course, I wish all people in Wheeling and the surrounding area a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season. Above all, I want you all to BELIEVE!