Anyone who regularly drives Academy Hill Road will recognize his face: in the last six months flagger Allen Heath has become a familiar presence in the Lincoln Academy neighborhood. Working for the company that is constructing the Academy’s new dorm and Tech Center, Allen always has a friendly wave for passers by, and seems to remain cheerful no matter the weather, the length of his day, or how many times he has to move the sawhorses at the construction entrance. “I can always find happy things to think about,” says this perennial optimist. “For instance, I figure the grass will grow after a rain.”
Heath, who is from Farmington, spends the warm months as a flagger, and the winter shoveling snow at Sugarloaf. He loves his job. “This is my best job so far. It doesn’t pay as well as flagger jobs on the highway, but it’s a lot less stressful. Cars go nice and slow, and I haven’t met a single mean person yet!”
Last summer during Heartwood’s production of The Legend of Jim Cullen Allen got to know some of the actors who were staying in the dorm during the show’s run. They bought him a ticket to see the play. What did he think of the production? “I loved it!” said Allen with a grin.
How does he manage to be upbeat day after day, holding a stop sign as the cars go by? “It’s easy to stay cheerful. You just have to find the silver lining in everything. My gram taught me to be a cheerful person more than anyone. No matter what bad happened to my gram, she was always happy when we were around.”