Friday, February 15, 2013

2nd Street Joey

I keep thinking Joey needs his own blog post, so I'm giving him one.

There's a tax service in town called Liberty Tax. Some poor schmo gets recruited to dress up as the Statue of Liberty -- green toga, spiked crown -- and stand out on the sidewalk in front of the place and wave at people driving by. (I should mention this only happens in tax season and I live somewhere winter lasts until May.) I always wave at the poor guy.

I'm not sure who was whose inspiration, but I suspect Joey's been at it a lot longer. Somebody from the local paper stopped and talked to him for a bit once and tried to find out what his deal was.

His deal is that he has a number of disabilities, both psychiatric and physical. To break up his day, he dresses up if it's near a holiday, and stands on the sidewalk outside his apartment -- which is on the main road past a major hospital -- and waves at the passing cars.

I always wave at Joey too.

The reporter asked him why he did it.

"I like to make people happy," he said.

A reporter friend of mine (not the one who did the story) recently tweeted that he saw Joey in a skyway connecting a couple of buildings downtown.

"It was like seeing Santa in the grocery store," he said.

It never occurs to me to think that it might take so little to make people happy. But I know my favorite friends are the ones who can make me laugh my way through anything, no matter how horrible I may think it is at the moment. Joey serves the same purpose -- a quick smile in a busy or stressful day. I have to figure out how to be more like him.

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