LAMBERTVILLE, Mich. (AP) — A community in far southeast Michigan is remembering an elderly man who would wave at passing motorists every day as he waited for the mail carrier.
For two years, Norman Hall went out to his mailbox, located along a busy road just north of the Michigan-Ohio state line, twice a day and for 30 minutes at a time to greet strangers with a wide smile. But two weeks ago, he made his way out to the mailbox and waved at motorists for the last time.
Hall died July 28 at age 88. Now an enlarged photo of him waving from a pontoon with the message “See you on the other side” is displayed next to the mailbox.
Since his death, flowers have appeared at Hall’s mailbox. Drivers have stopped to take photos and others honk as they drive by.
Some have taken to social media to express what Hall’s daily gesture meant to them. Dean Weaver of Temperance wrote a tribute to Hall, whom he didn’t know personally, which has been shared on Facebook more than 2,500 times.
“He was out there rain or shine or sleet. I’m a former big-firm corporate lawyer, and I know: Everyone’s out there worried about their busy day, but here’s this man out there every day . sharing his enthusiasm for life,” said Weaver, who owns a stable near Hall’s home and often went out of his way to drive past his mailbox.
Even Hall’s wife of 62 years, Louise, isn’t sure what prompted him to begin waving to motorists.
“One day he went out there to get the mail and he just started waving,” said Louise Hall.
Hall didn’t let anything, including bad weather or his failing health, stop him from the routine that brightened other people’s days.
“He’d go out there no matter what the weather,” Louise Hall said. “There’d be 15 inches of snow and he’d trudge out there.”
She would watch him from the bedroom and call him in after about 30 minutes, but he always objected.
“I saw his legs getting weak, but he was so tickled and so happy to be out there,” she said.
Norman Hall probably knew he made people smile, but didn’t fully understand the impact of his actions, his wife said.
“I just hope he’s somewhere in heaven where he can see all of this,” she said.