Dancin' in the street
Temple's favorite sign spinner has put smiles on our faces for about three years. He's still going strong, but he's harder to find.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 2021
Spinning signs helps Albert Finley pay the bills, but if smiles were dollars he’d be a very wealthy man. He has collected millions of grins, smiles, laughs and waves over the years.
A masked Albert Finley shows his stuff Thursday on 57th Street. The car behind him was purchased by supporters through a GoFundMe account last summer.
He’s still got those dance moves!
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple exclusive
Albert Finley certainly knows how to spin a sign. But the real magic happens when he casts the tool-of-his-trade aside.
“I’m a dancer,” said Finley, a lifelong Temple resident. “I grew up dancing and skating. I still do both, but I had to quit doing the splits.”
The 1978 graduate of Temple High was a fixture at Skate Haven and Action World Skate Center for decades, and he was hard to miss with his off-the-chart skills.
Those skills still serve him today, but in a different capacity.
Finley, known on the streets as “Bow-Legged Lou,” has been making Temple drivers smile for at least three years while promoting local businesses.
He has been dancing, waving and spinning up and down South 31st Street advertising for businesses such as Al’s Barbecue Barn, Shipley’s Donuts, Fajita King and many more.
I know he has held signs for dozens of businesses, but when driving by, eyes are on Albert and his antics.
“I started on 31st but now I’m on every corner in town,” he joked. “Lately I’ve been over by Clem Mikeska’s and on the Loop by Cracker Barrel. I’ve been getting a lot of calls for work.”
Indeed he has. Those calls have come from Salado, Killeen, Waco and all over Temple.
“I’ve been in Temple all my life, and I plan on staying here,” he said.
That’s good news for Temple drivers and the businesses he serves. Spinning signs helps Albert pay the bills, but if smiles were dollars he’d be a very wealthy man. He has collected millions of grins, smiles, laughs and waves over the years.
“We love him,” said Kacy Hester Jarma. “He always has a big smile on his face and waves to my girls. He’s super sweet when we see him in stores.”
Matthew Jarma agrees.
“I work for Temple Towing, and he always points to me and motions for me to blow the air horn. Super nice guy.”
“Every time I see him he has a smile and waves ‘Hello,’” said Cheryl Wright.
Amazingly, Albert seems to acknowledge and make eye contact with just about every passing motorist.
Last summer, he learned that he is valued in Temple.
“The transmission went out on my car, and I couldn’t get to work,” he said. “The Lord always provides, and he did with a little help.”
That help came from the Temple community, especially from Jason Winkler of Winkler Insurance.
“Jason has helped me in many ways,” Albert said. “Before I was spinning signs, I did yard and hand work. He kept me busy and kept me fed.”
The two men met about 10 years ago when Albert wandered into Winkler Insurance Agency.
“He wanted to do some odd jobs, so I paid him to empty trash, sweep the parking lot and clean windows,” Jason said earlier today. “He asked if he could come by regularly but I explained that I already had someone.”
“A few months went by, and Albert came back in,” Jason said with a smile. “He said my regular worker was in jail and couldn’t come by, so he asked if he could do the work.”
The two have been friends ever since, and when Jason learned about the broken transmission, he stepped to the plate.
“It was hot, and Albert was walking to work,” Jason said. “He would spin and dance for hours, then have to walk home.”
Jason started a GoFundMe account, and about a week later Albert had new wheels.
“We raised about $13,000 with GoFundMe,” Jason said. “We got the car and had enough left for Albert to have some needed dental work. He was shot in the mouth about 30 years ago and had ongoing dental issues.”
“Albert’s a good man and a hard worker,” Jason said. “He has a great attitude and people wanted to help.”
The next time you are driving the streets of Temple and see a grinning man busting some moves, be sure and give him a honk or a wave. You’ll get a big smile in return.
GOOD. Water lightly stained; 86 Degrees; 0.11 feet high. Black bass are fair on Texas rigged plastic worms, swim jigs and spinners. White Bass are good on the main lake points, flats and humps using swimbaits, jigging spoons and slabs. Hybrid stripers are fair with live bait and swimbaits in the main lake along the channel edges where bait is present. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs in brush piles and timber in water depths 14-25 feet. Catfish are good on chicken liver, live and cut bait.
GOOD. Water lightly stained; 88 degrees; 0.41 feet high. Black bass are good on drop shots, shad like crankbaits and orange craws working vegetation, grass lines and hydrilla beds early in the day, then deeper water and timber with football jigs, diving crankbaits and Texas rigged plastic worms. Smallmouth bass are good with plastic grubs and rooster tails near rocky shorelines, rock ledges and drop-offs. Crappie are good on minnows in brush piles and timber. White bass are good on slabs and live bait off main lake points, humps and drop-offs. Channel catfish are good with chicken liver and punch bait. Blue catfish are good with fresh-cut bait and live bait.
What’s happening, Temple?
Bob Schneider of Austin will be performing at the Cultural Activities Center on Saturday as part of the Texas Music Series. The show begins at 7:30 p.m.
August 20, Friday - Family Night at Summer Fun Water Park. 7 p.m.
August 20, Friday - Coffee with a Cop, Bella Blue Cafe, 7-10 a.m.
August 20, Friday - Clint Walker Blues Band, O’Briens Irish Pub. 9 p.m.
August 20, Friday - Bell County Kennel Club, Bell County Expo
August 20, Friday - Karaoke Night at Corky’s. 8 p.m.
August 21, Saturday - Lone Star Gun Show, Bell County Expo Assembly Hall, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
August 21, Saturday - Bell County Kennel Club, Bell County Expo.
August 21, Saturday - PetVet at Tractor Supply Co., Community clinics provide affordable, convenient walk-in veterinary services. 9:30 a.m.
August 21, Saturday - Bob Schneider, Texas Music Series,Cultural Activities Center. 7:30 p.m.
August 21, Saturday - Ethan Smith & Dirt Road Rebellion, O’Briens Irish Pub, 9 p.m.
August 21, Saturday - Temple Park & Recreation’s Touch a Truck. Climb on a fire truck or big rig at Reuben D. Talasek Bend of the River. 9 a.m.
August 22, Sunday - Lone Star Gun Show, Bell County Expo Assembly Hall, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
August 25, Wednesday - Open Mic Comedy, Corkey’s, 8 p.m.
August 27, Friday - 13th Chamber Golf Classic Powered by Amos Electric. Wildflower Country Club. 11:30 registration and lunch, 1 p.m. shotgun start.
August 27, Friday - Craig Howell with Somewhere in Texas. Bo’s Barn Dance Hall. 8 p.m.
August 27, Friday - Karaoke Night at Corky’s. 8 p.m.
August 27, Friday - Megan Brucker & Charles Edward Ott, O’Briens Irish Pub. 9 p.m.
August 28, Saturday - Totally Rad 80’s Prom Gone Bad, A murder mystery. The Venue by Inn on the Creek, Salado. 6:30 p.m.
August 28, Saturday - People’s Choice, Bo’s Barn Dance Hall. 9 p.m.
August 28, Saturday - Full STEAM Ahead! Learn about optical illusions and how to make them. Bell County Museum. 11 a.m.
September 2, Thursday - Central Texas State Fair, Bell County Expo Center. Wade Bowen. 5 p.m. to midnight.
September 3, Friday - Central Texas State Fair, Pat Green. Twisted Metal Mayhem Derby. Bell County Expo Center. 5 p.m. to midnight.
September 4, Saturday - Central Texas State Fair, Flatland Calvary, Professional Bull Riding. Bell County Expo Center. 5 p.m. to midnight.
September 5, Sunday - Central Texas State Fair, Aaron Watson, Professional Bull Riding. Bell County Expo Center. 5 p.m. to midnight.
September 11, Saturday - A Sami Show Arts & Crafts Market, Bell County Expo Center. 10 a.m.
September 11, Saturday - Weird Science. Explore different adaptations animals have made through presentations, fun games, and activities. Bell County Museum. 11 a.m.
September 11, Saturday - Pink Fishing’s Reeling in the Cure, 6th annual bass tournament. Proceeds benefit breast cancer patients and cancer research. Cedar Ridge Park. 6 a.m. Call (254) 681-0102 for details.
September 11, Saturday - 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb & Ceremony. Wildcat Stadium. 7-11 a.m.
September 11, Saturday - Rescue Magazine’s Pet Adoption Extravaganza. There will almost 400 Animals up for adoption and fun for the whole family. Bell County Expo Center. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
September 12, Sunday - A Sami Show Arts & Crafts Market, Bell County Expo Center. 10 a.m.
September 12, Sunday - Rescue Magazine’s Pet Adoption Extravaganza. There will almost 400 Animals up for adoption and fun for the whole family. Bell County Expo Center. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
September 15, Wednesday - Tiny Thinkers, Kids 5 years old and younger are invited to the museum to experience the State Fair! Bell County Museum. 10 a.m.
September 18, Saturday - Harvest Celebration. Bring your family and friends to enjoy grape stomping, food trucks, music, and wine. This is a ticketed event. 3 Texans Winery. 6 p.m.
September 25, Saturday - Fun at the Fair! Join us at the museum to for fun at the fair! View the newest exhibit and take part in fun activities - explore symmetry by decorating a popcorn bucket, build your own mini rollercoaster, race your family in duck races, and visit our petting zoo! Bell County Museum. 11 a.m.
September 25, Saturday - Dale Watson, Texas Music Series,Cultural Activities Center. 7:30 p.m.
September 30, Thursday - TLC’s Celebration of Crazy, Sexy Cool with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Bell County Expo Center. 7:30 p.m.
September 30, Thursday - Funniest Comic in Texas semi-finals. Corky’s.
October 8, Friday - Painting with a Twist, 3 Texans Winery. 6:30 p.m.
October 9, Saturday - Shinyribs, Texas Music Series, Cultural Activities Center. 7:30 p.m.
November 6, Saturday - Chris Hillman, Texas Music Series,Cultural Activities Center. 7:30 p.m.
November 13, Saturday - Market in the Vines. Take a walk through the vines and shop with over 50 vendors! Free to the public. 3 Texans Winery. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Have an event you would like to promote? Email info to OurTownTemple@gmail.com with “What’s Happening” in the subject line. Keep it short and sweet — what, when and where. You may include a short description. You must include a phone number for verification purposes. The phone number will not be published unless requested by submitter.