95-year-old Harvey Djerf has become something of a celebrity in his neighborhood of Plymouth, Minnesota. People often see him out walking with a wooden walking stick in each hand—an activity he enjoys so much that he does it twice a day, rain or shine.
“I’ve always liked to walk,” Harvey said, according to KARE. “I feel better if I walk.”
But one day, the WWII veteran noticed something in his neighbor’s yard, and it brought a big smile to his face.
A Neighborhood Celebrity
Harvey Djerf is clearly one of the “good guys.” Kind, personable, polite—all of that stuff. And, it doesn’t hurt to be a veteran of World War II either, having risked your life serving our country in such tumultuous times.
His neighbors even love him so much, they started putting out chairs in their front yards, hoping that when he walks by, he’ll stop and sit in the one they put there specifically for him.
Humble Harvey Takes a Breather
At Harvey’s advanced age of 95, he does get a little winded sometimes as he strolls through his neighborhood, which is completely understandable.
“People saw me stopping and catching my breath,” Harvey said. “They figured maybe Harvey needs a place to rest.”
Tom and Melanie Heuerman are two of those neighbors. They’d seen other neighbors’ chairs and noticed Harvey stopping to use them on occasion, and so they decided to put out a chair of their own.
Apparently, Harvey’s neighbors are just kind people, a fact that does not go unnoticed or unappreciated by Harvey.
“We wanted him to honor us with his presence,” said Tom. “It’s kind of status symbol in the neighborhood to have a chair out for Harvey.”
Simple Kindness And Caring About Others
Harvey walks the same route twice each and every day, even during the frigid months of notorious Minnesota winters. The neighbors even shovel a path for him that leads right up to their chairs!
If a neighbor happens to witness Harvey sitting down in their chair, it’s even more heartwarming.
“I’ll just peek out the window, ‘Harvey’s in the chair!’” said Ann Kleiner, whose husband Erik put a metal chair out for Harvey at the end of their driveway.
“And it will forever be Harvey’s chair,” added Erik.
How About a Little Snack?
Merry Anne Rosengren even offers Harvey homemade cookies when he sits in her chair.
“He brings my day a lot of joy,” said Rosengren. “First thing in the morning and later in the afternoon too.”
All the attention has really lifted Harvey’s spirits. With his wife of 69 years living in a nursing home since June because of a stroke, Harvey can get kind of lonely.
Mutual Honor and Respect
Lynn and Gary Grey are also Harvey fans.
“Here are all these neighbors who feel almost honored he wants to sit in front of their house,” said Lynn.
Harvey, of course, says it’s he who is honored.
“They get nothing out of it really,” Harvey said. “I’m the recipient of their kindness.”
Pay It Forward
Harvey hopes that what has happened in his neighborhood will inspire an epidemic of neighborly kindness of the same sort in other places.
“Maybe other neighbors will be encouraged to do things thinks like my neighbors have done for me,” he said.
Let’s hope so, Harvey. Let’s all hope so.
Source: Neighbors put out chairs for walking WWII veteran from Kare 11.