Johnny Barnes, the unofficial face of Bermuda’s capital
For the past 25 years, Johnny Barnes has made it his business to stand on a roundabout just outside the Bermudian capital of Hamilton and welcome rush-hour commuters heading into town. He is there every day from five till 10 in the morning, come heatwave or hurricane. Some drivers ignore him; most wave back or take the opportunity to wind down their window and exchange a few words. ‘How you doin’, Johnny?’ ‘The morning is beautiful and the God that made me loves me,’ Johnny replies. He doesn’t work weekends, but for those times there is a lifelike bronze statue of the man a hundred yards down the road from his roundabout. He is perhaps one of the few people other than despots or dictators to see a statue of himself in his own lifetime, and all for being friendly beyond the call of duty. If Johnny Barnes is heroically warm-hearted, then he is merely a charming reductio ad absurdum of the amiable Bermudian attitude to life. Everywhere you see people bumping into people they know on the street, and looking astonished and delighted by the amazing coincidence.