Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Three Little Words: I Love You

If this doesn't make you smile....

Johnny Barnes is an 88-year-old Bermudian who devotes six hours every day to an endearing ritual that has made him one of the most cherished citizens on the island, and famous across the world. Come rain or shine, since 1986, Johnny has dedicated his life to standing on a roundabout near Hamilton, Bermuda, waving at commuters, blowing kisses and telling them he loves them.
I know what you're thinking already - usually such eccentric behaviour from an elderly gent would be cause for concern, and a retirement home where they keep the doors locked.
But not for Johnny, who is the self-proclaimed "ambassador of love" - his story is one of real love, and not the romantic schmultzy kind we're all celebrating today.

Johnny's persistence in spreading love all around has transcended hashtag #awkward, and has made him an indispensable pick-me-up to his community and an icon - which is why 
US Director Matt Morris discovered him and created a documentary about the pensioner's life, entitled "Mr. Happy Man".
In the short film, we also learn that Bermuda commissioned a local sculptor to make a life-sized bronze statue in homage to Johnny's well wishing. Lovely, but I couldn't help but think maybe a bench for him to sit down on might've been more apt.
Anyhoo, I was going to wish you all a 'Happy Clinton's Taking Our Money Day!', but in the spirit of Johnny, I'll just say three little words instead.....
I love you (yes, even you).


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