Flagger in Chesterfield County makes residents in community feel special

Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 6:21 PM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - The intersection of Otterdale and Old Hundred Road has become a bit of a stage, for the hardest working man in the road business: Wallace McCowan. McCowan is a flagger, who is responsible for directing the flow of traffic and redirecting emotions.

For Katy Milano, dropping off her kids at their grandparent’s house comes with an added bonus.

“I drive that road every single day. Every single time and without fail, he’s waving, smiling or he’s dancing. It makes me smile every single time,” Milano says.

Caitlyn Noto-Doan, a mom who frequents that area says, “sometimes you have to wait four and five minutes to get through that intersection and you can possibly be in a rush or annoyed, and every time I pass him - it’s just absolute joy.”

“I just enjoy seeing the people, you know standing out here just waving,” McCowan said.

Kendra Hudson is one of several moms in the area who really enjoys seeing him too.

“He’s sometimes working in extreme weather conditions. It’s hot, he’s sweating and he’s still smiling. Coming home from work, it’s just good seeing that smiling face,” Hudson said.

Like a true man of the people, he makes eye contact with everyone.

“I thought I was special, he’s only smiling at me, you know? He sees me a lot, so he’s smiling at me," Hudson said.

Wallace has a way of making everybody feel special - even the youngest of passengers still in car seats.

Little Evelyn Stoloff even made a card for him.

“Here is the heart and here’s the drawing. It says, ‘thank you Mr. Wallace for being so kind,’” Evelyn Stoloff said.

Her mom, Ashley Stoloff, couldn’t be prouder.

“I think it’s great. He’s inspiring everyone, even little kids, to spread the kindness, and I’m really happy for him and what he’s doing," Stoloff said.

The entire group of neighborhood moms hopped in their SUVs, took a short drive from the Hallsey neighborhood to visit the man they’ve come to know and love. They surprised Wallace with $300, a gift card to a Mexican restaurant and the card from Evelyn.

“I get up every morning and I thank God for another day, and I get to see the lovely people and have fun!” McCowan said

McCowan takes pride in his job, as his coworkers are putting in a roundabout to reduce crashes in the area, something that will keep everyone safe.

“In reality, flagging is a real job, there’s no joke in it - you got to be careful,” McCowan said.

This is a temporary job for him so when the job is done, he’s on the road again.

“If I ain’t on this job flagging, I’m on another job flagging doing the same thing, waving, ‘how y’all doing,’" McCowan said.

But he says this intersection will always have a special place in his heart.

“Oh, I’ve got a few things I’ve got to do but I will probably spread the love again, I’ve got a good crew,” McCowan said of what he plans to do with the money.

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