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Friendly Man’s Waves Give Irritated Neighbors An Earful

Sun., Aug. 18, 1996, midnight

Joseph Cerce is a friend to the world, and his neighbors wish he’d give it up.

Every day, the 79-year-old retiree sits in a lawn chair and waves at passing motorists from dawn to dusk.

As he waves, drivers honk.

“People driving by think, ‘What a nice old man,”’ neighbor Salvatore Marra said. “But the problem is that you hear car horns blowing in the morning until it gets dark.”

“It’s getting to us,” said neighbor Dorothy Seabridge. “It’s ‘Hi, hi, hi,’ and honking all day long.” Even Mayor Jack Masklee said he is in the habit of honking when he drives down Cerce’s street in this community of about 10,000 people.

Police say there is no law preventing Cerce from waving, although they’ve asked him not to do so to reduce the noise.

But many motorists are so accustomed to Cerce that they hit the horn while waiting for him to wave.

Neighbors say the situation has gotten heated, with Cerce yelling epithets at them. He is involved in a suit with one neighbor over a scuffle that followed an exchange of words.


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