How was the Rochesterfest Parade you ask? It was AMAZING! I got to be Rochester, Minnesota's 2nd Street Joe for a day!

Photo by: Anthony Macioce
Photo by: Anthony Macioce
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Wasn't 2nd Street Joe going to be in the Rochesterfest Parade?

The plan was to have Joe with us, in the bed of the Quick Country 96.5 truck. I brought plenty of Pepsi (not Diet Pepsi, it has to be Pepsi), water, and a chance for him to rest if he needed it. But, Joe ended up with the stomach flu and couldn't make it.

Tony Macioce, the guy who handles Joe's Facebook page, showed up with the bad news, but with gifts! An American Flag and the Donate Life flag...and a special outfit he put together for Joe's parade appearance.

You Should Wear It, James, You Be Joe Today

TSM-Rochester
TSM-Rochester
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When Tony said I should be Joe for the day, I was a little shaky. Honestly, could I do him justice? He's always so energetic and smiling and waving and waving flags. But you know what? Time to put that anxiety away for a bit and BE Joe.

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So that's what I did.  I put the outfit on over my clothes and got up in the truck and waved flags! But you know what? That takes a LOT of energy and pretty soon I was pooped!

How does Joe Johnson do it? How does he have the energy to bring us so much joy on the regular? I have no idea. I had to stop, and I had to take off the extra layer because I was dying from the heat.

How Was It Being Rochester's 2nd Street Joe for a Day?

Photo by: Anthony Macioce
Photo by: Anthony Macioce
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It was amazing, even if just for a few minutes, I got to be one of Rochester, Minnesota's best-loved citizens. The love you feel from people is so strong, so encompassing. When you honk, or wave, or dance with Joe at Thursday's Downtown, you feel his energy, and he feels yours.

Tony put up this post on 2nd Street Joe's page...thank you to everyone throwing love my way. I was honored to do it and will always remember the day I got to be 2nd Street Joe for a day.

Joe couldn't make the Rochesterfest parade today as he's under the weather. ☹️
A huge thank you to his spot on stunt double James Rabe and Quick Country 96.5 for admirably wearing his gear, waving his flags, and recognizing the Gift of Life Transplant House. Joe sends big hugs and waves to you all. ENJOY THE PARADE.

Why Did Rochester’s Awesome Flag Waving Joe Start Waving Flags?

(Story from: November 15, 2021) it's probably the 2nd most commonly asked question to Flag Waving Joe Johnson on 2nd Street in Rochester, Minnesota: Why did you start waving flags, Joe?  

(Credit Second Street Waving Guy—Joe Johnson)
(Credit Second Street Waving Guy—Joe Johnson)
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I've written a ton of stories about Joe, but the only reason he, or anyone, gave was, Joe wants us to smile, to know there's someone rooting for us. He's sharing his love. But today I learned it was something deeper...something sad...that got Joe started.

On Veterans Day, this is what was posted.

Seventeen years ago Joe's father passed away from the effects of Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam. Joe cried grieving in his apartment for days. One day he decided to wave his American flag to honor his father.

Joe Johnson and His Dad (Credit Second Street Waving Guy—Joe Johnson)
Joe Johnson's Dad (close up of photo above) (Credit Second Street Waving Guy—Joe Johnson)
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He waved for 16 hours that day... and has been waving ever since. That's how Joe got started. His dad would be proud.

He would be proud, Joe. Very proud. And if you believe as I do, he IS proud of you. As are those of us lucky enough to see your smiling face, your waving flags, and your can of Pepsi. Read More: Why Did Rochester's Awesome Flag Waving Joe Start Waving Flags?

 

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: james.rabe@townsquaremedia.com

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