The "Waving Guy"
"Know Your Neighbor: Don Cox", by Madeleine Connor, from the the Lost Creek Neighborhood Association Newsletter Fall edition
When deciding who to interview for this column, I thought, who better than “the Waving Guy?”; someone who has, countless times, brightened an otherwise stressful or gloomy day, simply by waving at me and every other car that goes by. Wanting to learn more about this anonymous and indiscriminating dispenser of goodwill, I spotted him one muggy morning while taking my daughter to summer camp. He was, as usual, walking down Lost Creek Blvd and waving at passers by. I got my wave and pulled over into the bike lane. I jumped out of my car and handed him my card. Despite my disheveled appearance and hurried invitation, he said he’d be delighted to be interviewed for this article. As I was driving away, I reflected on his instantly genuine and kind nature, and thought to myself, he’s probably the friendliest person in Lost Creek. After interviewing him and his wife the following day, I concluded that he’s undisputably the friendliest guy on the planet. What’s more, I found that my initial impression of Don, just a friendly and neighborly guy, was a deep underestimation.
Don and his wife Susan have been Lost Creek residents since 1983. Don is a real estate broker and heads up Don Cox & Associates. Susan is the Executive Director of a non-profit organization that both Don and Susan established called, “For the Love of Christi.” The main objective of the organization is to provide support for grieving families and individuals who have lost a family member to violent crime.
After interviewing him and his wife the following day, I concluded that he’s undisputably the friendliest guy on the planet. What’s more, I found that my initial impression of Don, just a friendly and neighborly guy, was a deep underestimation.
In 1985, Don and Susan’s 20-year old daughter, Christi, was killed by a drunk driver. Don, Susan, and their son, Sean, found that there was little affordable support available to help them through their agonizing and ongoing grief. They quickly realized that there were many others who also needed help, and through much hard work and dedication, in 1987, they opened the Christi Center, located at 2306 Hancock Drive. This warm and nurturing renovated house is a place where people suffering from the loss of a loved one may attend free meetings with others who have lost a family member. This group setting, in combination with staff counselors and volunteers, provides an effective outlet for grief management for children, adults, and families of all backgrounds. For more information or to support this worthy organization, visit www.forlovechristi.org.
When asked why Don started waving to folks during his daily walks through Lost Creek, he said that after Christi’s death, he wanted to channel his grief in a positive way, and this was just one of the many ways he did that. Don explained that he started waving at people, in part, to show them that there were people out there who care. Don says people almost always wave back: kids, bus drivers, residents, and delivery drivers. Gradually, people started thanking Don for his waving, stopping him in the grocery store and sometimes even on the street, noting how much they appreciate the gesture and how good it makes them feel. “Sometimes, people stop me just to say ‘thanks’ or to say that the waves lift them up and start their day off right,” Don said. “And, if I go on vacation for a while, when I get back, people will stop me and say how relieved they are to find out I hadn’t moved away.” Sometimes, Don explains, he waves at folks to get them to slow down, hoping to convey that, “they don’t want to wind up in my position [grieving the loss of a loved one].”
Don is one of the people who make Lost Creek such a special place. His waving is infectious and spreads kindness throughout the neighborhood. I always look forward to seeing him and getting my wave, when leaving for, or coming back from, my daily grind.
6506 Huckleberry Cove
Austin, TX 78746
Office Phone: (512) 327-4683
Fax: (512) 327-4573
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