- Associated Press - Monday, September 21, 2015

NINEVEH, Ind. (AP) - The steady stream of vehicles heads north out of Nineveh a little after 7?a.m. each day.

Rush hour traffic from the small town is constant, as drivers head from their homes to State Road 252 and off to work or school.

From his perch at the top of his driveway, Bill Adams can see every car and truck coming by. And with each one, the 85-year-old throws his hand up in a friendly wave - a neighborly way to start the day.

“I try to wave at every car, but not every car honks back. A lot of them do,” he said. “I don’t know everyone out here, but I wave to whoever I can.”

For more than 20 years, Adams has spent most early mornings sitting out by the road. He waves at vehicles.

His morning ritual has captured the adoration of the Nineveh community. As a small token of gratitude, organizers of the Nineveh Heritage Festival have chosen Adams to be the grand marshal in the annual parade.

“Bill is a wonderful example of a community servant,” said Nancy Voris, a festival organizer. “He is such a quiet, humble man who would give his right hand to help anyone.”

Adams has lived in his home on Nineveh Road for almost 30 years. For the 30 years before that, he and his wife, Norma Ann, lived in another home in town. His ties to the community are deep.

He served on the Nineveh Volunteer Fire Department and is an elder at the Nineveh Christian Church. He retired from Arvin Industries in 1995, having worked for 34 years at the company.

Medical complications prevented Adams from finding another job, so his wife suggested that he spend his mornings watching the traffic go by.

“She told me one day, ‘Bill, why don’t you go out and wave to traffic.’ So that’s what I did,” he said. “And I enjoyed it.”

Whenever anyone stops, Adams takes the opportunity to share his faith with them. A longtime member of Nineveh Christian Church, he invites them to come to a service.

Nineveh resident Sandy Adams also belongs to his church. Though they are not related, they are longtime friends. She has seen firsthand how important Adams is to the community.

“I go past his house, he waves and smiles, quite an inspiration,” Sandy Adams said. “You can be driving your car, and no matter if you’re in a bad mood, if you see Bill out there waving, it just makes your day.”

Though traffic moves quickly along the road in the mornings, people occasionally pull of the road and stop to talk with Adams. Strangers have dropped off cookies, candy and other sweets.

One time, a soldier serving at Camp Atterbury paused and presented Adams with a brown Army cap, which he still wears during his morning greetings.

“He always brightens my day,” said Linda Briggs, a Nineveh resident who drives by Adams’ house in the morning. “I love seeing him wave.”

Age prevents him from getting out to the road every day, but he tries to when he can.

“It used to be I’d come out every day, but I can’t do it anymore. I’d like to, but I can’t do it,” he said.

Nineveh festival organizers had been trying to get Adams to be the marshal in their parade for years, due to his popularity in the community.

“After he retired, he just made up his mind to be at the road and start everyone’s day on a happy note,” Voris said.

Adams needs a motorized cart to get around and for health reasons was unable to join the parade in years past. But this year, his son, George, will drive him in the parade.

“I’m excited. I’ve never done anything like this before,” Bill Adams said.

His early-morning routine carries a hint of sadness, though. After Norma Ann Adams retired from the postal service, she would join her husband greeting the passing cars on some days. She would sit next to him, and they waved together.

Norma Ann Adams died three years ago, but Bill Adams keeps her memory alive with every motorist he waves to.

“She was the one who got me started doing it, so I keep doing it,” he said. “I just really enjoy it.”

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Source: (Franklin) Daily Journal, https://bit.ly/1KmNM9t

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Information from: Daily Journal, https://www.dailyjournal.net

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