NewsPositively Montana


Billings crossing guard sparks joy with friendly waves and dance moves

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Posted at 9:43 AM, Apr 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-09 11:44:33-04

BILLINGS — There’s a firm belief that something as simple as a smile can brighten even the dullest of days - and that's true for Bill Bishop.

“It started when people started waving me first,” he said.

Bishop started working as a school crossing guard just two years ago. You’ll likely see him posted every school day at the corner of Parkhill and 17th Street. At that spot he’s seen by many because his unique presence attracts a little attention.

“So I started waving back,” he said.

But he didn’t stop there: “When you have rhythm, you just gotta dance,” he said.

Every morning, Bishop’s moves, waves, and smile help to break up the monotony of the morning commute for dozens of drivers.

Drivers like Nancy Barbula. “I come down 17th and there’s Bill," she said. "He’s standing on the corner dancing around and waving to everybody.”

Barbula got a kick out of Bishop and thought others should also know about him, so she contacted MTN News, and we eagerly did a story.

It’s a sight she looks forward to every day on her commute: “Everybody needs a little spot in the morning. It just recently dawned on me how wonderful it was and how much joy he brings in the morning.”

Bishop is a former Marine and has always been called to a life of service. “Through all my life, I've always wanted to be in the Marine Corps,” he said.

He was blessed with a natural ability to serve and protect, even when he was just a kid.

“I would practice parachuting off the barn with my grandmother's bedsheets and let me tell you, I don't recommend that, they don't hold you up,” said Bishop.

After retiring it only made sense he was drawn to another type of service, helping school children get across the road safely.

“And when fellow Marines that go by because I can see on their license plate. I'll give them the hand salute and they return the hand salute.”

By now, Bishop has people who count on him, to help spread a little bit of positivity in their day. People like Barbula. She counts on seeing him on her way to work.

“It’s a powerful thing a smile,” she said.

Bishop says he’ll be there to do just that… at least until his legs and rhythm hold up.