A pen comes out, the hunched figure goes about doodling something.
Then up he gets.
Scans the room for just the right person...a child, or a stranger...then over he walks silent as a ghost and places the thing he's constructed on their table.
Such a tiny thing.
A paper puppy.
I watch as he does this again and gifts another one to a different table. Finally I approach him, "So you're the one who leaves the paper animals for people."
"Yes I am," he humbly replies. Then quietly returns to his seat across from his wife.
I follow to introduce myself as a writer and shake his hand.
"My name is Sherman. This is my beautiful wife. She has dementia. We come here every day. And I make the paper animals and I give them to people. I like to see them smile."
I had to ask Mr. Sherman to tell me a little about himself. I especially wondered what compelled him to do this, daily. I wanted to know his story.
"Well, I'm the last living survivor of the massacre in Ducduc during the Vietnam War on March 29, 1971.
Sgt. Dennis Sherman.
I was a Marine Lieson at the time. When you look it up on the internet you'll see my group in a photograph. The smiling happy guy right in the middle...that man was dead less than 24 hours after that photo was taken."
They come, they quietly share their meal, he makes paper animals while they wait, he gifts them and then like that they are gone. Once a mother was so happy her child received one that she left a gift card for Mr. Sherman the following day.
~author K. Day
After reading the article himself, Mr. Sherman told me there was one very important thing I left out...
The reason that he does what he does.
He does it, he says, for Jesus...in the hopes that others will be touched by the Spirit and in turn seek as he has.
And that is a beautiful and powerful sentiment.