Lexington's 'Sparkle' Shines On Richmond Road

Lexington's 'Sparkle' Shines On Richmond Road

Derald, the smiling man with a 'Mr. Sparkle' sign, waved and smiled at passersby Friday before revealing his past: a year ago, he was homeless.
There's a 'sparkle' in Lexington that shines at the intersection of Richmond Road and New Circle.

His name is Derald--he holds the 'Mr. Sparkle Car Wash' sign, but does much more than that.

"Just singing, waving, dancing...doing what he does," said one driver.

Derald waves and smiles to every passing car.

And in almost every car, a smile and wave are returned.

The sign holder has been doing the job since March 2012.

Before that, he was homeless. While staying at a shelter, Derald said a buddy told him about a job at a car wash.

"Said, 'Did you mind carrying a sign?' I said no, I don't mind--I need to work," said Derald.

For anyone else, it might have stayed work...but not for this man. Every day, Derald shouts greetings to the cars.

"Derald is probably the biggest blessing we've ever had," said Forrest Turner, whose father owns 'Mr. Sparkle Car Wash'. "If he's not out there, people are like, 'Where's Derald? Where's Derald? I was looking forward to seeing him today--he's not there'."

Friday, Derald wanted to send a bigger greeting to the town he loves so much: "Hello Lexington. I love you. Glad to spend this time out on the corner with you! And you be careful out there."

Derald said he plans to spend the next three to four years holding the sign. If you see him, he said to wave and honk to say hello.
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