An Open Letter

Dear Crossing Guard on a street corner in the poorest of neighborhoods near my work,

I know you’ve seen it all. You live close enough to your work to bike through the dirty streets there each day, rain or shine, flooded streets or smoke from Southern California brush fires. You’re there watching the children cross in your neon yellow pancho or your neon orange vest, depending upon the season. You’re friendly to children and parents and plain old pedestrians on your route. I’ve seen you with your sign to stop traffic and on more than one occasion I’ve seen you yell at drivers who challenge your job and scare your crossers. You’re there every day and you see it all.

I pulled over to your curb on the last day of work before the holiday and signaled you over. You were finishing up crossing your charges and you gave me a stern look letting me know you’re doing your job and I was interfering. Frankly, I kinda thought you might yell at me for messing the routine up. You’re sort of gruff and scary looking.

But you did come over and accept the little gift card to Starbucks that I offered you. Your face was so suprised and friendly that it made me feel just great. It worked out so well!    I stopped by the other crossing guard that I pass by each day and gave him one, too. He and I have a habit of waving to each other every day already. We just have that going on. I am not sure if it was he or if it was me that started it, but we just wave hi every day now.

I am looking forward to coming back to work in January and waving to you.


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