DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) - You probably didn't know Charles Nichols. But then again, you probably did.
Last month, Mr. Nichols passed away in Diamondhead at the age of 66. He's remembered as a loving father, brother, grandfather and uncle who served our country in the military. But he's probably best known across the Mississippi Gulf Coast for his motorcycle and the cast of characters who would ride with him.
Look familiar? You may have seen Santa or the Easter Bunny riding with him, but it really was the Grinch getup he was best known for. That's Mr. Nichols in front dressed as the Grinch's dog, Max.
A video of the pair even went viral a few years ago, after it was shared by several outlets online.
Edmond Fahey Funeral Home in Bay St. Louis is in charge of Mr. Nichols' funeral arrangements. After posting his obituary to Facebook Wednesday, the comments started flooding in from people who recognized but never knew the local celebrity, of sorts.
Angie Arguello wrote, "He definitely brought smiles to my family each time we saw him! Will miss seeing the Grinch, especially! Rest In Peace!"
"I had the pleasure of meeting him on two separate occasions," Zeke Boone wrote on the WLOX Facebook page. "I asked why does he do it. He said he was retired, wife and son had passed, he had nothing better to do Than to make these characters and put a smile on peoples face. He said as long as the good Lord woke him up in the mornings and he was able to dress up and ride then he would make his rounds. He would leave Diamondhead and head west. He would stop at the local rest area. Leave there and head towards 10/12/59 split and stop at that rest area. He would then head north on 59 and stop at that rest area and then head back south stopping at those rest areas. He would make a complete circle. He said as long as he made one person smile then he has completed what he had set out to do...I told him I wish one of the news outlets would do a story on him and he said he's glad they didn't lol. He wasn't doing it for that purpose but to make people smile"
"He will definitely be missed. Brightened my day every time I was lucky enough to see him," Judy Farrell Ryan wrote.
Darleen V Bychurch wrote, "Mr Charles, you always brought a smile to my face every time I seen you riding your bike."
Mary Ann Alsobrook Wilkerson wrote, "Never met him but loved seeing him on his bike in character. Prayers to your family sir and thank you for your service."
It's clear Charles Nichols accomplished his mission of spreading cheer wherever he went. So to him, we say "Thank you!" Thank you for the smiles, the waves, the sounds of our children excitedly pointing out the Grinch riding right next to them in traffic. May you rest in peace, sir.