By Scott Halasz
XENIA — His friends called him nuts, said he was crazy and asked him if he had “lost it.”
But Don Humphrey just wanted to do something to help make Shawnee Park a little more attractive. That’s why the long-time Xenia resident has spent the last two days there, painting picnic tables and doing other minor beautification activities — on his own time and mostly on his own dime.
“I’ve lived here all my life,” Humphrey said. “They don’t understand it. I’ve got too much time in this town not to do something to give back.”
It began Sunday when he was at a birthday party.
“I started raking up things and picking up limbs from the storm,” Humphrey said. “I saw all these messed up tables and thought I’d do something about it.”
He said he “scraped up every dime I had” and bought a gallon of paint at Lowes. He then persuaded an assistant store manager to donate five more gallons for his project.
Humphrey started around noon on Wednesday and continued into Thursday. Most of his work was being done in the pavilion, but Humphrey also painted a couple tables under some nearby shelters.
“People are going to use things this weekend,” he said before slapping another coat of paint on badly worn table.
Humphrey admitted he was hoping to be somewhat incognito and wasn’t trying to draw attention to himself.
“A lot of times people don’t notice me,” he said. “I was trying to be discreet. I couldn’t really do that here.”
Humphrey’s effort hasn’t gone unnoticed by the city.
“His donation of time and energy is a testament to the strong work ethic and sense of civic duty that makes Xenia a great place to live and work,” said Xenia Public Relations Coordinator Lee Warren.
Humphrey added that an employee from the public service department gave him a camouflage hat that said City of Xenia Public Works on it.
“That’s kind of special what they did there,” Humphrey said.
Like the cliche says, one good deed deserves another.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.