The Whistler can whistle while he drives instead of while he walks (Brunswick): The day has come when Ron Chappell’s window-washing customers will be able see him before they hear him. Known as The Whistler for his piercing whistle while he works, people could normally hear Chappell coming as he walked from job-to-job. But one of his window customers, mortgage broker Tim Gentry, staged a fund-raiser that was so successful that he changed the goal from buying a Chappell a good bicycle to a used truck.
Gentry and some of Chappell’s friends and supporters gave him the keys late Monday on his 61st birthday. “Oh, wow. Thank you,’’ Chappell said when he saw the white truck with “The Whistling Man” and his phone number on the doors. “God bless all of y’all.” As he teared up, Chappell said, “I don’t need to cry. I’m just full of joy.”
Gentry said he was inspired to help Chappell after spotting him on the western end of the St. Simons Island causeway after he had walked the entire four miles lugging his five-gallon bucket and window-washing gear. “He made it across the causeway drenched with sweat. Nobody had picked him up,’’ Gentry said.
Gentry started a fund-raiser for a bike on Facebook, but after it raised $700 in 38 minutes people suggested that he raise the goal. “Everybody said why don’t you go for $4,000 and get a truck,’’ he said.
Auto dealer Mark Covington found a good one and provided it at a wholesale price, and Gentry had it painted and paid for insurance out of the funds from 96 donors. Like Gentry and his father, R.B. Gentry, Chappell was a Marine and he always whistles the Marine Corps hymn when he washes the window at Tim Gentry’s office.
With his family standing close by, Chappell whistled the “Star Spangled Banner” for those who had sung “Happy Birthday” to him. Chappell said the truck will do more than help in his business. “I’ve got a brother in York, Pa.,’’ he said. “I’ve been wanting to go see him.”
|Ron Chappell, The Whistler, whistles the National Athem for admirers who took part in a fund-raiser to buy the window-washer a truck. He had been walking or hitchhiking to his jobs.|