The Wave Goodbye

Saying goodbye to the wave

I grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania. Raised in a household by both my mother and my father, I was blessed enough to have a dad who was and still is an outdoorsman. Since age six my dad decided to make me his hunting pal and began taking me to our hunting cabin an hour north of our hometown in Bradford county Pennsylvania. I could still remember being a young boy getting out of elementary school early to head north with my dad, my best friend, to hunt whitetail deer with our bows. Actually, his bow. At six I was merely just company to him, learning the tricks of the trade. But regardless, we were going to the cabin, oh how I was a man now going to the cabin.

It was there in a quiet little farm town I would bare witness to a single and yet so simple of act of kindness while my father was driving…. He waved hello to everyone! And yet so graciously everyone waved back. He did not know them, they did not know him, yet on their travels a salute of kindness, a wave with the hand was sent from one vehicle to the next. For whatever reason my dad only waved to the cars or trucks in the country, at the cabin. Was it because they were more kind, more friendly then the folks back home? Still to this day Im really not sure. What I do know is all has been lost.

I am saddened. Throughout the years I tried to continue my dad’s and fellow country men acts’ of kindness. Here, 20 years later I may get one out of five cars to return the passing gesture. But those few times that I do it feels good. It takes you back to the “good old days” where people cared. That feeling that saying hello to someone whether you knew them or not, whether you saw them for a second or ten minutes, was a nice thing to do. In todays world it seems as though many couldn’t care less for their fellow man. Your more likely to get a passer-bye talking on his or her cell phone too busy to realize this world is a much better place when you slow down and focus on relationships, friendships, or the beautiful country side you are passing through. I would love nothing more then to see this old tradition come back. Sometimes when I wave to people they look at me like Im crazy. I could tell exactly what their thinking, “who is that, I don’t know them”? Well guess what buddy, I don’t know you either, but I hope you have a lovely day and I just wanted to say hello, now slow down, stop texting and start waving.

Chris Higdon


  • Mary Ellen Higdon says:

    Will work on bringing this tradition back! Thanks for reminding us that a little kindness can go a long way!

  • joel howland says:

    let me tell ya something buddy, reading that seriously makes me want to cry…your dad did a hell of a job raising you the right way. the bradford county way..with your other family up kyle and myself wouldnt trade your family in for anything…a wave idnt good bye…its till i see you again…Love ya pal

  • Chase says:

    I’ll tell you guys what, this is the sad truth. I think i think my grandfather would turn over in his grave if one of these gas trucks decided to wave back at me!

  • Trish H. says:

    Ya I agree!! start waving people. Great article Deer Stew!

  • Jeff P. says:

    Nice Joel! I really need another trip up there, Chris. I need some Bradford, the Howland boys, and woodchucks….lets wave the entire trip up!!