Mr. Happy Man is an 88-year-old by the name of Johnny Barnes. While you may not know him, he loves you, and you, and you, and you! Letting people know that life is sweet and beautiful, and bringing a smile to the faces of those in a bad mood, is what he does.
It’s not just on Valentine’s that you should give love, but on all the other 364 too! Take Johnny for instance…
Johnny parks himself at an embankment by a major roundabout in Bermuda every day from 3:40 – 10am. The caution road-sign he hangs his jacket on while he waves profusely and blows kisses reads ‘give way’ though what it should say is ‘give love’ to indicate what Johnny is all about. Today, as you’ll see in the film by Matt Morris, there’s a statute of Mr. Happy Man and his outstretched arms ready for someone to fall into them in an embrace. It was designed by a sculptor residing on the main island, taken aback by Johnny’s humility.
Then again, it’s no surprise that this homage, the second statue built on the island – the first commemorating cricketer George Summers – is of Johnny Barnes as he’s well loved by the community he so genuinely loves!
And how did this all begin? In 1983 Barnes, who was working at a bus depot in the capital, decided to start greeting strangers. While traveling to work one morning he had an epiphany. He stopped at the roundabout he’s since made his second home, and began his repertoire of greeting everyone in sight. Some, as expressed in Morris’ film above, thought he wanted money, was crazy, and that it wouldn’t last. Though, half a century on, many residents can’t imagine their days without him!
Proclaimed “the happiest man in Bermuda”, if not the world, Johnny’s infectious laughter and soft spoken good morning’s and, nothing but smile bringing, waves to motorists on their merry (perhaps not so merry, but soon to be) way, shows that he indeed lives up to his title!
In the words of Mr. Happy Man, “the world is made for love.”
Information for this article was taken from a post on experiencebermuda.