‘I just keep waving’

Posted Feb. 12, 2013, at 5:40 a.m.
For the last eight or nine years, he can't quite remember, Adolph Kiper, 73, has been a fixture on Forest Avenue in Portland during tax season. He waves to cars, pedestrians and even trains, drumming up business for Liberty Tax Service.
For the last eight or nine years, he can't quite remember, Adolph Kiper, 73, has been a fixture on Forest Avenue in Portland during tax season. He waves to cars, pedestrians and even trains, drumming up business for Liberty Tax Service. Buy Photo
New Jersey native Adolph Kiper, 73, is draped in red, white and blue from January to April, all day, in all kinds of weather outside Liberty Tax Service on Forest Avenue in Portland. &quotIt keeps me in good shape," he said, recently.
New Jersey native Adolph Kiper, 73, is draped in red, white and blue from January to April, all day, in all kinds of weather outside Liberty Tax Service on Forest Avenue in Portland. "It keeps me in good shape," he said, recently. Buy Photo
Former dairy farmer Adolph Kiper, 73, is festooned in red, white and blue from January to April, all day, in all kinds of weather outside Liberty Tax Service on Forest Avenue in Portland. &quotIt keeps me in good shape," he said, recently.
Former dairy farmer Adolph Kiper, 73, is festooned in red, white and blue from January to April, all day, in all kinds of weather outside Liberty Tax Service on Forest Avenue in Portland. "It keeps me in good shape," he said, recently. Buy Photo
Adolph Kiper, 73, known as &quotPapa" to the folks at Liberty Tax Service on Forest Avenue, casts a shadow while waving to motorists and drumming up business dressed as Uncle Sam.
Adolph Kiper, 73, known as "Papa" to the folks at Liberty Tax Service on Forest Avenue, casts a shadow while waving to motorists and drumming up business dressed as Uncle Sam. Buy Photo
For the last eight or nine years, he can't quite remember, Adolph Kiper, 73, has been a fixture on Forest Avenue in Portland during tax season. He waves to cars, pedestrians and even trains, drumming up business for Liberty Tax Service.
For the last eight or nine years, he can't quite remember, Adolph Kiper, 73, has been a fixture on Forest Avenue in Portland during tax season. He waves to cars, pedestrians and even trains, drumming up business for Liberty Tax Service. Buy Photo
Adolph Kiper, 73, is draped in red, white and blue from January to April, all day, in all kinds of weather outside Liberty Tax Service on Forest Avenue in Portland. &quotIt keeps me in good shape," he said, recently.
Adolph Kiper, 73, is draped in red, white and blue from January to April, all day, in all kinds of weather outside Liberty Tax Service on Forest Avenue in Portland. "It keeps me in good shape," he said, recently. Buy Photo
Adolph Kiper, 73, steps into Liberty Tax Service on Forest Avenue, where everyone calls him &quotPapa" to warm up and take a break from portraying a waving Uncle Sam out front.
Adolph Kiper, 73, steps into Liberty Tax Service on Forest Avenue, where everyone calls him "Papa" to warm up and take a break from portraying a waving Uncle Sam out front. Buy Photo
For the last eight or nine years, he can't quite remember, Adolph Kiper, 73, has been a fixture on Forest Avenue in Portland during tax season. He waves to cars, pedestrians and even trains, drumming up business for Liberty Tax Service.
For the last eight or nine years, he can't quite remember, Adolph Kiper, 73, has been a fixture on Forest Avenue in Portland during tax season. He waves to cars, pedestrians and even trains, drumming up business for Liberty Tax Service. Buy Photo
For the last eight or nine years, he can't quite remember, Adolph Kiper, 73, has been a fixture on Forest Avenue in Portland during tax season. He waves to cars, pedestrians and even trains, drumming up business for Liberty Tax Service.
For the last eight or nine years, he can't quite remember, Adolph Kiper, 73, has been a fixture on Forest Avenue in Portland during tax season. He waves to cars, pedestrians and even trains, drumming up business for Liberty Tax Service. Buy Photo
Cars and trucks roar and whiz by Adolph Kiper, 73, on Forest Avenue in Portland where he dresses as Uncle Sam for Liberty Tax Service.
Cars and trucks roar and whiz by Adolph Kiper, 73, on Forest Avenue in Portland where he dresses as Uncle Sam for Liberty Tax Service. Buy Photo
Cars and trucks roar and whiz by Adolph Kiper, 73, on Forest Avenue in Portland where he dresses as Uncle Sam for Liberty Tax Service.
Cars and trucks roar and whiz by Adolph Kiper, 73, on Forest Avenue in Portland where he dresses as Uncle Sam for Liberty Tax Service. Buy Photo

He wears a red, white and blue tailcoat coupled with a spangled cowboy hat. He waves at cars and trucks. He waves at a kid on a skateboard. He waves at an ambulance, red lights flashing and sirens wailing. He even waves at a passing freight train. The temperature is below freezing and the wind is starting to kick up.

He does it all with a smile.

Adolph Kiper, 73, a former New Jersey dairy farmer, has performed this Uncle Sam routine in front of Liberty Tax Service on Portland’s Forest Avenue for the better part of a decade. From January to April 15 — tax season — he’s out there. Smiling and drumming up business.

Sometimes people wave back or toot their horn.

“It keeps me in good shape,” he said Monday while taking a break inside. “I’d probably be dead if I didn’t move around.”

He says keeping warm is just a state of mind. Though, he does have hand warmers in his gloves and a hood on underneath his hat. He also keeps a brisk pace, moving back and forth in the parking lot.

“I just keep waving,” he said with a chuckle.

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