September 30, 2020
OK. So it’s not really a statue. It’s a scarecrow. But it serves the same purpose.
Key Center. Not really a town. More a collection of retail and service businesses with a library and charity shop thrown in for good measure. But there is absolutely a sense of community here. And every year at this time scarecrows pop up all over the place, mostly reflective of the sponsoring business or service. This year there is one notable exception. Ricky the Flagger.
For the weeks and months that a new bridge was being built on our local state highway, Ricky the flagger was a bright light greeting every single person in every passing vehicle. A wave, a broad smile, and sometimes a tip of his helmet. Spreading infectious joy. People loved him. He became so popular that the local community put up a FaceBook page in his honor.
And then he was gone. Apparently being that friendly isn’t in the job description and his popularity caused other road workers to be disgruntled. Read jealous. Ricky was fired. Oh, the community was outraged and protested the action, demanding that he be brought back. He wasn’t. There is even talk about the completed bridge being named Ricky’s Bridge. It won’t be, at least not officially. But it will always be Ricky’s Bridge to locals.
I suspect this may not be the only year that Ricky’s scarecrow image is part of Key Center’s Halloween landscape. As it should be. In these times we need statues that honor those who are courteous and civil. Those who bring out the best in all of us.
Judith – firstname.lastname@example.org