A jovial security guard manning a barricade along Ocean Boulevard had the difficult job of turning motorists away Friday, but by the time she finished talking to them the drivers smiled instead of scowled.
"You need to cross baby? I'll help you," Rhonda Smith, a security officer with a big smile from Atlanta, Ga., said to a man walking with luggage in tow Friday evening. This is Smith’s first year helping with security at the Atlantic Beach Bikefest and although her job was to man a barricade and keep cars from turning onto Ocean Boulevard from 10th Avenue South, the crowd loved her.
Smith opened the barricade and extended an arm to oncoming traffic to help the man with luggage cross the boulevard to reach his hotel. He thanked her.
Smith was enjoying it.
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"I love it! Everybody's so pleasant," she said, with a chuckle. "They've been bringing me water, Gatorade. They're so sweet.
"They even brought me a chair over here," she said, resting on a blue camp chair - another token of kindness from a crowd that quickly warmed to her kindness.
“With me? I’ve got the personality that brings out the best,” she said, with a hearty laugh. “So everybody I’ve been dealing with is wonderful. I’m blessed.”
Smith helped with traffic enforcement Thursday. She will be here through Sunday.
“I’m having the best time of my life,” Smith said.