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Scrooge again in Skaneateles

A lucky 13 years he has played the bad guy on the streets where we live

Bob Krigbaum was born on the last day of the year at 7:30 at night in a house in Syracuse. After much adventure, which included a three-year stint with the 10th mountain division, and work as a film technician in Alaska, a private investigator, a truck driver, a bus driver and a janitor, he became a professional actor. We know him in Skaneateles as Scrooge.

Each December for the past 13 years he has walked the village streets during the reenactment of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol" under a top hat with long gray hair flowing. He dashes into village shops demanding rent and threatening foreclosure. He hands out what he thinks are bills to passersby that turn out to be discounts at village shops and restaurants.

Skaneateles is his stage, but exactly how did he get here? It all really started at Onondaga Community College in the 70s. Seeing his career path moving inthe wrong direction, Krigbaum decided to gather himself an education. He was in his thirties and interested in creative writing. The creative writing led him to the theater arts department and he basically hasn't looked back.

This isn't entirely a stretch as he comes from a very artistic family. His father was a drummer, mom a waitress and uncle a chef. He is also related to Peanut Huckles. He can play the piano, as when it came time to pick an instrument, his mother said, don't be a drummer; you'll always have to drag your drums around with you, whereas a piano is most often provided. That was then and this is now.

What about Dickens?

He said it is great fun especially with the people who work at the stores.

"People come from all over," Krigbaum said. "The people like it, especially when I say, 'Bah Humbug' or 'I hate Christmas.'"

This is the first year that the actors have to learn actual lines as there are now shows at 12:30, 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. where little excerpts from the Charles Dickens book, "A Christmas Carol" are performed.

"For 12 years I've been acting off the cuff," he said, "now they are disciplining me."

Scrooge is allowed an occasional smile in the dressing room located in the Skaneateles fire station.

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