The city of Laguna Beach’s “Be A Greeter Program” is a great idea. I haven’t had a car since 2003, and I ride the city’s blue and white buses, trolleys, OCTA buses and Sally’s van and sedans for seniors. Often at bus and trolley stops or on board, I see visitors and locals trying to figure things out. Many visitors have never been to our town before. When I offer to help, they are always thankful and add a positive note to my day.
The city’s greeter pledge says: “I pledge to follow the Greeter Principles by being friendly, welcoming, open-minded, and respectful. I will greet people with a smile. I will have the compassion not to be a bully, and the courage not to be a bystander. I will make a positive difference in my community.”
Luckily, I have lived here and met three of our four acknowledged greeters. Joe Lucas, a Portuguese fisherman who greeted stagecoaches in the 1880s came long before my time, but Eiler Larsen, our second greeter, was a great man greeting strangers and friends with a mighty hello! Number One (his legal name) was our third greeter, who always reminded locals and visitors with his famous welcome, “You are perfect.” Today, our fourth greeter is Michael Minutoli, who does a friendly dance and jig, adorned in his sailor cap. Where else in the world do you come into a town and have a greeter on the curb wishing you well along with hundreds of local residents who want you to feel welcome? Be a Laguna greeter. You’ll love it.
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