Joe Johnson reflects on Father’s Day
(ABC 6 NEWS) – Father’s Day is important for many different reasons. It’s a day about spending time with your dad and reflecting on the memories you have with him.
And for one Rochester man, this day means something special for him.
This story is surely one that will make you smile because it’s about a man that all of Rochester knows and loves.
"Three Generations, and look at me! When you put them all together, there I am! See? There I am," Second Street Waving Guy Joe Johnson said.
Not a day goes by when where Joe Johnson doesn’t think about his dad, Russell.
He passed away 19 years ago.
"I love my dad, I love my son, It makes me cry just saying it to you," Johnson said. "My dad is gone, I wish and I say prayers in my apartment. Tears run down my eyes, all the time. I love my dad!"
And it’s on Second Street where you can see Joe waiving his American Flags.
He does it to remember his dad who was in the army. The day he passed away, it was tough for Joe, but he chose to channel his grief into something to honor his dad.
"It was supposed to be a one-day thing, for 16 hours, I stood outside enjoying it, loving what I did. Yes, my dad passed away, but It was all worth what I did. The flags brought me back. That’s what woke me up and said Joe, you just can’t sit there, do something about it," Johnson said.
And it’s a simple wave, that goes a long way.
"How can I help now Rochester come together more where we do more for our Soldiers, Veterans, anyone," Johnson said.
Joe has been bringing Rochester joy for 19 years. He plans to keep being there for you, no matter what.
"I love what I do, I’ll never give up. You’re going to have to break my arms and legs before I ever stop," Johnson said.
But things have been tough for Joe, Back in March, doctors discovered he’s suffering from a rare brain-based form of dizziness which is making some things incredibly difficult for him. But, he’s staying positive.
"If I can do this, You can do something," Johnson said.
It’s in these moments where Joe thinks about his son Nathan, he loves him to the moon and back.
"He’s grown up, he’s going to be 23! I’m going to be 55! I feel so energetic! So alive," Johnson said.
Tony Macioce runs Joe’s Facebook page, he loves his friend and all he does for our community.
"Joe, I love you, you’re an inspiration to all. I just love you for that," Macioce said.
So the next time you drive on second street and you see Joe waving his American flags, just know he’s doing this for all of us, because he truly loves this community.
"There you go, that’s my story people and I’m going to stick with it," Johnson said.