Dear Answer Man, what’s the story regarding the guy who stands on Second Street Southwest every day in his swim trunks and waves to passing cars?

Thousands of commuters see this jolly, half-nude fellow with the big belly every day, so I figured it’s about time to get the facts.

His name is Joseph Johnson; he’s 43, lives in the apartment building in front of which he stands in the 800 block of Second Street Southwest, and he waves “peace” to passers-by for at least a few hours a day. When I stopped to talk with him Sunday, he was in a very – well, peaceful – mood, drinking a diet cola and wearing his trademark swimsuit and nothing else.

Why does he stand in front of his apartment building and wave at people on one of the city’s busiest streets?

“I do it because it makes people feel good,” says Joseph. “I want them to feel happy. We’ve been through so much with the wars,” with the economy and so on, he says.

As I noticed while talking with him yesterday, a lot of people wave back. He must be onto something.

Rochester Post Bulletin – Rochester, MN – Monday, July 12, 2010

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