CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s back to school in Chicopee, and that means Bob Farman is back at the intersection of Grattan Street and Granby Road bringing joy to both commuters and pedestrians.
Bob has been a crossing guard there for four and a half years. He goes above and beyond his duty of keeping students safe by brightening the days of strangers as they drive by.
22News stood at the corner of Granby and Grattan Street Thursday for the first day of school, and boy, were people excited to see him! Countless cars beeped, even more waved, and a select few rolled down their windows to have a quick conversation with their favorite crossing guard. Even more people gave Bob a shoutout on our 22News Facebook and Twitter:
Bob said it all started with him waving to the school buses as they passed. Eventually, other drivers started waving to him, and now there’s not a car he doesn’t acknowledge.
“They make my day. So many nice people come through here,” Bob said. “And my hats off to some of the parents of the kids I see come through here, they’re very well behaved, very well mannered.”
Bob knows that his job comes with safety risks and likes keeping children safe. He said he has seen his fair share of distracted drivers on their phones and even reading newspapers.
“I’ve had people go when I had kids in the intersection not stop they just go right around,” Bob said. “That’s very few though.”
Chicopee Police Officer Mike Wilk told 22News if a crossing guard enters the crosswalk, all traffic must stop. Drivers who don’t stop are subject to citation.
Who is Bob Farman?
Bob has been a resident of Chicopee for the last 35 years and calls it the greatest place to live. He is a Yankees fan and loves dogs–he even brings treats in his pockets for the four-legged pedestrians! One of his favorite memories as a crossing guard is when a family used to stop and give him hot chocolate in the winter.
“You never know who might come through this intersection,” he added.
Bob might not know everyone’s names, but he sure knows everyone’s schedules.
“You can set your clock by these people,” he laughed.
So you know when they’re late?
Bob will be out at the intersection Monday through Friday until next summer sending kids and drivers off to work and school with a smile on his face.
He has just one rule:
“I don’t let people talk about politics on the corner, I just cut ’em right off,” Bob laughed.