Teacher Sees Elderly Man Walk By Preschool Each Day. Turns Simple 'Hello' into Lasting Friendship


The story that Michelle Allen sent to Frank Somerville with KTVU does not have any shocking twists or elements of danger that often capture our attention. Yet, it’s exactly the kind of story so many of us love to read.

Somerville used the hashtag #RealPeopleRealStoriesRealLife to describe this heartwarming story. We’d like to think that there is a person similar to 92-year-old Warren on every street waiting for somebody like Allen to just say hi.

Allen is a preschool teacher at Yellow Brick Road Preschool, and Warren lives in the neighborhood. Their friendship began with a simple greeting.

Warren’s daily routine often included walking past the preschool. I cannot imagine Allen has a dull moment as a preschool teacher.

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She still took the time to notice and acknowledge Warren. Initially, Allen would simply say hello.

Then, she began bringing the children outside so they could join in greeting Warren during his walk. The 92-year-old was always delighted to see the smiling faces of the children.

Warren had a request for Allen. He wanted to be called “Oz,” inspired by the preschool’s name referencing the yellow brick road in the “The Wizard of Oz.”

Warren was not only a friendly face the children grew to know and love, but now he was also the great “Oz.” He and a friend, Lynn, decided to make Easter baskets for the kids.

The preschoolers all lined up and walked to Warren’s house so he could hand out the baskets. The image of preschool kids holding Easter baskets along with Warren in their ordinary neighborhood might not be considered newsworthy by others’ standards.

Allen wrote, “We bring so much joy to him by just saying hi. It’s the small things in life like this that we can do for each other.”

It’s a real-life example that speaks to the power of cross-generational friendships and neighbors befriending one another. The world could use more examples of what Allen and Warren developed out of a simple hello.

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Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College.
Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College. Carolyn's writing has been featured in both online and print media, including Just Between Us magazine. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and children.
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