Billy Brier has been waving at strangers for more than 20 yearsBy STAFF,
He may very well be one of the best-known people in Hattiesburg, but most folks know very little about him – other than his friendly waves and loud oo-gah horn.
The Pine Belt’s waving motorcyclist is Billy Brier. And, no, he’s not crazy. He has a regular job, is married, and is a Navy veteran.
And he has been waving at fellow motorists while on his Harley Davidson motorcycle for more than 20 years, dating back to when he bought his first motorcycle in 1995.
“I just like to wave at people,” he said. “It started when I lived on the Coast and would ride my motorcycle. When I moved up here, I just kept doing it.”
Originally from Pennsylvania, Brier enlisted in the U.S. Navy and eventually found his way to the Gulf Coast for training. He moved to the Hattiesburg area in 2007.
For the most part, Brier says people enjoy meeting him in traffic.
“Well, there’s a lot of folks that as soon as they see me at a red light, they pull out the cellphones to take a picture,” he said. “But two people have given me the finger. I guess they weren’t having a good day.”
Brier is most commonly seen on weekday afternoons, making his commute from his job as a maintenance technician at a Hattiesburg nursing home to his home in Petal; most days he takes his motorcycle.
“I don’t like being cooped up in a car. I feel like on my motorcycle I can see more and observe more,” he said.
Of course with a loud ooo-gah horn and his outgoing personality, Brier is sure to get attention, sometimes from law enforcement.
“I was in Hattiesburg and a state trooper saw me and stopped to talk to me,” Brier said. “He told me, ‘if you ever stop waving, I’m going to give you a ticket.’ So, I guess that gives me some good approval.”