He impressed me from the very first day I saw him, in early 2007, while running the Heritage Trail in Camas. Tipping his blue hat, and giving a jaunty forehead salute, he wished me a cheerful “Good Morning.” The good-energy vibes radiated from his body
Soon, I looked for him on every run. I enjoyed spotting him ahead in his signature blue hat. That first year, he turned around at the 2.5 mile marker. Late last year, I noticed he now turns back at the 1.5 mile marker post. Still quite impressive, 3 miles is a respectable distance for any age.
Even though it’s been years, I still look forward to meeting him along the winding route. His warm, and genuine friendship is always freely given, to me, and others he encounters on the path. At times, he’s stopped, chatting and chuckling with someone as I pass by.
My husband, who walks the trail rather than running it as I do, has had longer conversations with him and affirms my perceptions. Yes, he’s a positive and enjoyable person with a delightful demeanor. Truly, a kind and joyful human being.
Some of my family members, who have visited and run the trail with me, often ask about “The Man in the Hat.” It’s a name we’ve affectionately given him. His charm is quite effusive, and it’s lost on few. Little did I know, it’s a name others have given him as well.
Notice of a celebration for a well-loved local along Heritage Trail.
Imagine my surprise when I spotted a notice, with his photo, attached to the 2 mile marker along the trail. I must confess, my heart stopped and I worried what news this public post might bring. Concerned, I felt a little sick as I stepped closer to read.
Instead of sadness, my heart filled with joy. Don, the man in the blue hat, is going to be 85 years young this month. Happily, another regular who frequents the trail is putting together a photo album to give him as a gift. He wants to get as many photos as possible to add to his collection.
The notice gives us the option to send him a 4 x 7 photo of us on the trail, or he’ll snap a photo any morning during his daily walks from 7-9 am. “Les” also wants us to gather at the NW start/end of the 3.2 mile trail on March 27th to wish Don, “The Man in the Hat” a very Happy Birthday!
You can bet we’ll be there to celebrate.