FERGUSON, Mo. – It was an interesting afternoon for workers at some businesses in Ferguson on Saturday.
As some shops were busy cleaning up or re-opening their stores after two tense weeks, workers say they got a visit from a stranger. They say a man who identified himself as a long-time Ferguson resident popped into several shops, leaving workers an envelope of money and words of encouragement.
At Clip Appeal Barbershop on West Florissant, there's a big buzz around the place, and it is not just from the sound of clippers.
"We were all just laughing and talking on a normal Saturday," Buffi Blanchard, a barber at Clip Appeal, said as she trimmed a customer's hair.
Blanchard explained how a stranger stopped into the busy shop unannounced on Saturday.
"It was an elderly white gentleman, and you could tell that he had been walking a lot because it was, like, sweat was just dripping off of him," Blanchard said. "He had a cane."
Barbers say the unknown man was busy popping in and out of businesses and boarded up shops on the block where protesters spent days marching the streets, and where vandals broke windows in the aftermath of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
"He came over and he reached out and he gave me an envelope, and in the envelope, it was two $50 bills," said Blanchard. "He said I'm sorry for your losses, and he turned around and he walked out the door."
That unidentified man, a good Samaritan, who neighbors learned dropped by each business that had been caught in the middle of two tense weeks along W. Florissant.
"He was an older guy," remembered Dellena Jones, owner of 911 Hair Salon. "He said he lived in Ferguson forever."
Jones is among business owners who've been trying to get back on track in that community. She says a group of vandals kicked in her shop door as riots broke out between police and protestors. Jones says the unknown man also gave her an envelope with $100.
"I said, 'Oh my God,' you know, 'thank you.' 'Can you give me your information because I want to send him a thank you card?' He's like 'oh no.'"
As workers on West Florissant try getting back to a routine, they say their anonymous neighbor's surprise gift helps.
"Thank you for your kindness, your love and we really appreciate you," Kaye Mershon, owner of Clip Appeal, said.
Workers and business owners say the man's neighborly kindness lets them know everything in Ferguson will be OK.
"I just would like to say thank you," Jones said. "I am grateful, and it keeps me encouraged and hopeful."