, Derry, New Hampshire

September 27, 2012

Start the wave

Derry News

---- — Robert Young had a smile and a wave for everyone who passed by his Chester Road home.

Young, who was killed in an accident in Chester Saturday, didn’t distinguish between friend and stranger. Sitting outside his home, the site of lush gardens and metal artwork, Young would acknowledge each passing car.

His waves were often returned, but not always.

People who didn’t know him personally did know him as the man who waved to them as they passed by on their way to work, school or shopping.

Many people have expressed regret they never took the time to stop and introduce themselves, to admire his exotic grasses, lilies and peonies, to ask about the artwork he sold from his home.

His friends said they would have been the richer for it had they stopped. Young, 75, was a man of varied interests and loved to talk about them.

Young loved to garden, to talk, to laugh, according to longtime friend Rita Olszewski.

There was joy in his life and he worked to spread a little with every wave at a passer-by.

Rather than regret the visit that never happened, the introduction there never seemed to be time for, perhaps people ought to take a lesson from Young’s life book.

Imagine how much brighter life could be if more people shared a smile and friendly wave at those encountered on the sidewalk, on the commute to work, at the gas pumps or corner store.

Maybe, just maybe, Young’s legacy will be a wave that will spread beyond the confines of any ballpark ritual.