FORT PIERCE FOLKS
RUSTY DURHAM PHOTOS
Tom Laigo, 70, entertains motorists daily along U.S. 1 in Fort Pierce. Now retired, he has nine part-time advertising jobs for local businesses.
BY PATTIE DURHAM
If you have driven north or south on U.S. 1 through the
city, you have seen Tom Laigo hard at work at one of
his many part-time jobs. Most would remember him
if shown a picture of him with his mannequin on his
shoulders and holding a sign, advertising for a local business.
Laigo discovered “waving,” as he calls it, in 2009 when
he got his first job with Liberty Tax. Dressed in a Statue of
Liberty costume, he waved and held a sign aimed at drawing
in customers who needed assistance with filing their income
taxes. Others refer to this job as sign flipping, but Laigo likes
to wave to passersby while attracting attention with his antics;
his mannequin, Natasha; or riding his unicycle.
Working since he was 15 in his native Washington state,
Laigo has a resume of multiple skills he developed along the
way. He has made siding, windows and doors and tongueand
groove flooring in the Northwest.
“When I lived in Washington, I worked one job,” he says,
“and it paid all of the bills. But, when I moved to Florida, I
found that one job just wasn’t enough. I have always worked
part-time jobs along with my full-time job here.”
He ended up in Florida after his wife, René, left Washington
to visit her mother in the Sunshine State.
“My wife returned a few months later and says we’re
moving,” Laigo says. “I thought we were moving to a bigger
city here, but she said, ‘No, we are moving to Florida. I
bought a house.’
“When I married her in 2002,” he adds, “I told her I would
follow her anywhere.”
Coming to Fort Pierce brought about many changes for
Laigo. He found a job at Mueller Plastics, working mostly the
night shift. Then he started working part-time at S&S Takeout
and eventually 15 waving jobs. He says he has to feed his
The WAVE MASTER