Only in Indiana: I Love You Guys
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTHR) - It is not unusual to see a panhandler working a street corner, but Jeffrey Layman has carved out quite a niche for himself on Rockville Road and Interstate 465.
I asked him what makes him different than all the other guys we see out asking for money on the street corner, as traffic raced to make the light.
"Really, I am not asking for money," he said. "They just give it to me."
And well they do, because this 55-year-old man has perfected his craft.
"Have a good day you guys," he yells to passing motorists, and then he pauses. Wait for it... then he adds almost under his breath: "I love you all."
For some reason, motorists seem to sense that. They know his headshake is his bond and for some unspeakable reason, he is able to communicate with a sign language that is all his own.
It all started some two years ago.
"(I) came out here when I was homeless. People gave me money to get off the streets and I saved it and got me a little place to live and I've been trying to pay back," he admits.
"So you literally come out here basically to wave and say hi," I say to him, almost in disbelief.
"Oh yes," he answers modestly.
"What do you get out of it," I continue. Then, as if on cue, we get the answer from his passing people.
"He is a good guy out here cleaning the streets," said Robert Dove. "He doesn't stand out here with a bucket asking for money, he makes it worth it. You want to give him a couple of bucks. He waves to everybody, he's got to have arthritis in that hand by now."
You see, Jeffrey doesn't sit on his bucket. He carries it to clean up all four intersection ramps, the medians and more.
"I got a blower, thanks to them," he shares. "The people, they gave me a blower," and we both break out in hearty laughter.
You heard that right. The man who saved the money that was given to him to find a house also took the money that was given to him to buy a blower, and he bought one and put himself to work. For us.
"That is the main goal for me, trying to keep the streets clean," he said. "Keep this whole area looking good. I love this community, they give me a lot."
So when pass Rockville Road slow down a little, and wait for it.
"Have a good day everybody. I love you guys,"