County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

A final farewell wave from Harrison's waving lady, "Red"


The family of Red, the Waving Lady, shared the following two articles in lieu of an obituary.

You may have missed seeing Red walking along the main streets in Harrison this spring as God had her traveling a different road. In March she was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal colon cancer, and in the early morning of Wednesday, June 16, she arrived at her final destination, her heavenly home.

For several years Red shared many waves, smiles, 'Good morning' greetings and even an occasional hug on her walks through town. She felt blessed by the responses she received and truly enjoyed sharing her mornings with the people she met. Red said, "You never know what a person might be going through, and that one act of kindness might just make all the difference in their little world".

If she made a difference for you or inspired you in any way, please share that kindness with someone along your travels through Harrison in honor of Red, now and for many years to come.

Written in 2019 by Gary Shackleford

If you're out early on most mornings along Clare Avenue in Harrison, Michigan you'll see Harrison's own Waving Lady. She walks along the side of the highway. Waving and smiling at passersby. Mouthing "Good morning".

I asked permission to take her picture. Then asked her name.

"Red. Just call me Red. I don't give out my real name. You never know what's gonna crawl out of the woodwork". She said with a smile. "What'd you want the picture for"?

"I'm writing about Harrison.”

She smiled again. "I'm 80 years old". Then added, "I was on Facebook last week. I don't own a computer or one of those phones. I didn't even know. They showed me at Walraven’s. (Walravens Country Garden Fruit Market. On 1st Street in Harrison. Incidentally, 1st Street is also Clare Avenue, which is also Business US127. Depending on where you are standing). "I always stop there and give everyone a hug. And then at the Rite Aid Pharmacy they showed me my picture on Facebook. And at the Dairy Queen too"!

Red reminded me of the Waving Man from Berkeley, California. On a few occasions Joseph Charles waved at me as I passed him by on MLK Way. Day glow yellow gloves. Both arms raised waving at the passing traffic. "Good morning and have a good day". He'd shout.  A merry eccentric bringing cheer and a smile.

Just like Harrison's own Waving Lady. After our chat, Red went on her way. Waving at oncoming traffic. Soliciting an occasional wave back.  A bright spot in the morning in Harrison, Michigan.

I was told that Harrison was once a "Hippie" town. Perhaps Red is a remnant.


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