For many kids in Unalaska, PCR Operations Manager Nick Cron's festive performance of Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" has become a holiday staple. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, his performance went virtual to ensure that families and children on the island could still enjoy the melodic poem.
Cron has been performing Dr. Seuss' poem to Unalaska students for around eight years. And while the event has made big waves on the island, it began with modest intentions.
"My dad would always read the story for us at the top of the stairs when we were little before we'd open presents, and then we'd go watch the movie too," said Cron.
And he listened to it so much that eventually, he could recite it from memory.
According to Cron, he recited the poem for some colleagues at a city Christmas party shortly after he arrived on the island, and his trick impressed a couple of teachers who invited him to perform for the students.
Cron has been reciting Seuss' poem for students at the elementary school ever since. And now, trimmed in a santa hat, a festive red and green vest, a bow tie, and a cumberbund covered in bells, Cron and his performance have become a quintessential part of Unalaska's holiday celebrations.
"Every year I do it for first grade, second grade, third grade, and fourth grade," said Cron. "I always start with the first graders if I can, because they're more forgiving if I make a mistake. That way I could practice for when I got to the fourth graders who really pay attention to see if I'm going to mess up."
The presence of the COVID-19 pandemic nearly cancelled the event this year. But, Cron and some of his colleagues decided to make the performance virtual and posted a video on the PCR's Facebook page. So now, he, himself, and his Grinch tale continue to bring holiday cheer.