He sits in a lawn chair when the weather gets warm, bright vest on, stop sign twirling at his feet. He stands and greets the kids who come near him, nodding and questioning. And then he walks slowly into the intersection, his hand out behind him until the way is safe when he beckons to the children on scooters, foot, the occasional bicycle. Sometimes a parent waits for that crossing with the family dog, waving and calling, "Have a good day," before returning home or continuing the walk.
He nodded his thanks to me one day, as I stopped farther than most and waited what he must have perceived to be patiently. Some days I might wave, an anonymous passer-by thankful for his role in the life of the community.
On cold days, much of our winter, he waits for the rush in his small blue car that has seen better days, a cup of coffee steaming the windshield, and I imagine talk radio filling the air. His smile is the same, but there's less dawdling, more hurrying, and the parents wave quickly, bundled more tightly.
School's nearly out for the summer. Late the other day, a group of children stood on the sidewalk, calling to him with pen and yearbook, waiting for the beckoning hand to leave an impression in their book.