‘Waving man’ brightens many a grey nomad day

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Waving man of Katherine
Waving expert Jim Ashworth demonstrates his well-practised open-palm technique. PIC: Newcastle Herald

The average grey nomad travelling in country areas may raise a friendly finger or hand to greet fellow travellers quite a few times in the course of a day … but probably nothing like as many times as Katherine’s ‘waving man’.

Jim Ashworth, 70, sets up his mobile plant nursery on the side of the Stuart Highway on Mondays and Wednesdays and he has made it his mission to wave at every single car, truck or motorbike that passes by.

And the Newcastle Herald newspaper reports that can be hundreds, if not thousands of cars every day.

The friendly gardening enthusiast is something of an unofficial ambassador for the Northern Territory town and the motivation is simple.

“I wave because it is something to do and why not,” he said. “Most people wave back … I am retired now and I need to have something to do,”

The waving expert has mastered the traditional open-palmed wave, the finger point or more ‘blokey’ raising of the hand, and even manages a wave when he has his hands full of plants.

The retiree has been selling plants and produce for about 10 months at the same spot just north of the iconic Northern Territory town.

“I have zucchinis, tomatoes, chillies, all of them are grown myself in my garden,” he told the newspaper. “I have always liked working in the garden, tidying things up, I spend about seven or eight hours in my garden each week.”

The one-time cattle station worker from Western Australia moved to Katherine 15 years ago … and with a cheery wave here and a smiling face there, has helped make the town a brighter place for both locals and the endless ocnvoys of grey nomads alike.

• Have you waved at the ‘waving man’? Comment below


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One Response to ‘Waving man’ brightens many a grey nomad day

  1. Just spent ten weeks working in Katherine Region, waved to him many times

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