CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Charles “Bub” Hardman, a 75-year-old military veteran, sits on South Chestnut Street, near the old Produce House, in Clarksburg every evening, greeting those traveling through the area, with a big smile and a wave.
“I come out here every day for the people and the kids,” explained Hardman. “I love them when they wave and honk the horn, and I love the little kids when they tell me ‘how are you today?’ Thank you for your service. We love you.”
Hardman described the urge to leave his apartment kick-started his effort. He explained that when he first started where he was sitting, no one could see him, but people began hollering at him after awhile, when they saw the “U.S. Army Veteran” vanity license plates hanging off of his motorized wheelchair.
Hardman has been doing this since spring of 2020 and has only missed one night. He explained he enjoys doing it and putting a smile on everyone’s face.
“Some of the men even say “Buddy, good to see you down here. We missed you. Buddy, what goes on in our days work, you always put a smile on our faces and get us going,” said Hardman.
He uses his hat to wave in one direction and his hand to wave in the other to make sure he catches everyone who passes by.
No matter the weather or temperature, Hardman manages to come out every evening from 5 p.m. until 9 or 10 p.m.
“I sat out here in the hot, sat out here in the cold, sat in the rain, and I sat out here sick,” explained Hardman.
Bub is very appreciative of the local emergency vehicles, because every time they pass by, they make sure to turn on their lights or pull over to speak with him.
Hardman said he doesn’t come out for any gifts or to receive anything, he just wants to be outside for the people. His only goal is to pass out chips to kids as they go by.
“I want to continue to be out here every night I can be,” explained Hardman.