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'This is my calling': Man greets St. Louisans with a wave and smile

For 15 years Lewis Claybon has been on one corner every morning helping St. Louis start their day with a smile

ST. LOUIS — Think about your drive to work this morning. Do you remember smiling? Laughing? Dancing?

If you passed by Lewis Claybon, there’s a good chance you did.

“Morning! Happy holidays!” he said to a car as it drove by him.

Claybon stands at Tower Grove Avenue and Vista a little north of the Missouri Botanical Garden every morning. Well, he doesn’t exactly stand.

“They’ll always see my spirit here,” he said with a smile and a wave. He’s often seen dancing on the corner outside of Lamb’s Bride Child Care Center. “I realize this is my calling.”

In the rain, snow, heat and cold, Claybon is out there greeting every person who drives by.

“It don’t matter, you know? Life is still hard no matter what the weather is. They still need some encouragement. It ain’t all gloom and doom.”

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He’s been doing it for 15 years now, his smiling face always out there ready to brighten your day with a kind gesture and some encouragement.

Claybon learned the importance of positivity as a kid growing up in East St. Louis.

“I grew up a class clown. Well, my family is a house of clowns. So, we love to have fun,” he said.

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He’s spreading the love one wave, one smile, one greeting at a time. And hoping you’ll do the same.

“Why not love each other, too? That’s part of who we are. Why are people so reluctant to show love when it’s the most powerful thing there is? We all need it,” he said.

He’s helping strangers in St. Louis start their day with a reason to smile—at least for a moment.

“We don’t have but each other, and we gotta look out for each other.”

Claybon greets folks weekday mornings from about 6-9 a.m. Then, he goes inside the day care center and cooks for the kids.

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