Sapulpa’s longtime “goodwill ambassador” celebrates his birthday with the community

Whether you know his name or not, you’ve probably met Emmett—or at least waved at him. 

Known for years as “the waving guy,” Emmett Wise walks the streets of Sapulpa, spreading goodwill and cheer to anyone he talks to, sees, or who passes in a car. Even if he doesn’t know you, you’ll get a friendly wave.

This week, Emmett celebrated his 67th birthday, and in a town of 20,000 people, it seemed like every citizen turned out to attend his party, which was held at Martha’s Corner (Dewey and Water) on Wednesday, June 2nd.

The party, orchestrated by City Marketing Coordinator Tawni Vickers, included balloons, food trucks, and great weather, for a change—and of course Emmett, though Vickers had to track him down a few times to return him to his own party.

Emmett was wearing a blue shirt that proudly labeled him as “Sapulpa’s Goodwill Ambassador,” and was constantly shaking hands, getting hugs, and posing for photos. At 12:15 PM everyone gathered and sang “Happy Birthday” as he blew out candles on a small cake to cheers and applause. Emmett was all smiles the whole time.

Phil Kennedy, owner of Kennedy’s Used Cars and longtime friend of Emmett’s, said his kind nature is almost inhuman. “He’s so nice to everybody, it’s really like he’s more of an angel,” he said.

Vickers said that Emmett said he was “happy Jesus allowed him to have a party with his friends and it not rain.” We were all pretty grateful for that, Emmett!