Driving around my town, you may spot signs scattered throughout various neighborhoods, supporting our local police. Our town’s “finest”, indeed. We have quite a collection of firehouses as well. And these men and women not only risk their lives for us, but they are seen, in some way, shape, or form, at every community event. Again, our town’s “finest”, without a doubt!
Every Fall, another group of our town’s very finest are seen on just about every street corner, donned in bright yellow, clutching their red octagonal signs, oblivious to the harsh rain, the bitter cold, and the blustery winds. Their attention is one hundred percent focused on keeping our children safe.
Allow me to share with you some of the scenes I witnessed this morning while walking the streets of my neighborhood, because I dare to wager that no where else will you find crossing guards quite like those in my town.
On one corner is the enthusiastic waver. When he isn’t meticulously making sure his charges are carefully traipsed across the four lane street he governs, he can be seen waving continuously to any car that passes by his post. And in turn, horns are heard signaling their appreciation for his spirited well wishes each day.
Take a quick turn and there she is, the master hugger. Kids can be seen running to her, just to get their morning hug and a great big smile from this jolly woman. She has ruled this same corner for years! I have never driven by and not seen her at her post, getting her “little chickadees” in order and their days off to a perfectly lovely start.
Down a block and we have our charming chorister. He sings constantly. I think he may even take requests. I remember one year he had an especially talented group of youngsters in his care and they were often seen all singing together, having a grand old time before crossing the street. You know when one of them has a birthday or when the holiday season is upon us, and sometimes, if we have a champion of some sort in the mix, he gets them on their way with a stirring rendition of Queen’s “We Are the Champions“.
As I find myself rounding the corner for home, there is the darling duo. I have often wondered if they are married. An older couple, a grandfatherly and grandmotherly pair, who greet their walkers with heartwarming smiles and a slower shuffle to cross their intersection. But the charm comes from the little secretive move of their hands into their pockets to fish out a treat for our four legged friends who are also on their morning strolls. A quick little head pat and a slip of a treat before their owners even realize what just happened, leaves those furry friends prancing off with their heads held high and their tails wagging enthusiastically.
These quiet heroes are indeed, among America’s finest. They keep our children safe and cared for; they joyfully conquer the elements and do their job with a cheerful spirit; and they represent the heart and soul of a neighborhood that prides itself on being a family friendly, hospitable, close knit community. Cheers to our crossing guards! And a heartfelt thank you for all you do!