Oregon community honors delivery man with parade and statue

GRESHAM, Ore. — The most prominent citizen of Gresham, Oregon, is also the most unlikely businessman, since he's a delivery guy. Todd Kirnan, 45, has autism, although a more fitting label would be to say he's a workaholic. 

For 12 hours a day, seven days a week for almost 20 years, Todd has been making deliveries and doing other odd jobs for virtually every business in downtown Gresham.

Whether it's a coffee run, or a run to the post office, he does whatever he's asked -- or not asked. He emptied a waste basket at the hair salon simply because it was full.

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While out with Steve Hartman, Todd Kirnan stopped for a hug. CBS News

"I like helping people, you know, making people happy, making people smile," he said.

In return, people tip him, of course. But this is not about the money. The smiles grow far too broad and the hugs last far too long for this to be a purely business arrangement. Todd is treasured -- so much so, people in Gresham have often joked that he should have his own statue.

People described him as "one of the kindest, nicest people," who was "always smiling."

"Can't imagine downtown Gresham without Todd," one person said.

Unfortunately, barring a parade in his honor, there's only so much a community can do to show its appreciation, which is why they threw a parade in his honor. Last week, hundreds of people lined the streets of Gresham to pay tribute to their delivery guy.

Todd loves old TV shows so they borrowed a Batmobile to drive him into the center of town where they had another surprise waiting: a statue in his honor.

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A statue in honor of Todd Kirnan stands in Gresham, Oregon. CBS News

The $54,000 likeness of Todd was paid solely with cash and in-kind donations.

"Thank you for everyone being here for me in Gresham and I love you guys," Todd said.

In most cities, statues are reserved for founders and war heroes. But here in Gresham they believe a simple passion done with unconditional love belongs on a pedestal, too.

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  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.