Mystery man hands out dollars for smiles in memory of high school classmate

Motorists who took the time to read a cardboard sign held by a man standing at one intersection were met with an unusual promise: "Smile, I'll give you a buck."

The man, who remains anonymous, stood on a street corner in Denver on Monday. He said about 10 percent of people who drove by smiled.

"So many times at an intersection you're asked for money. Well this is a little change of pace." he told ABC affiliate KMGH. "I've been blessed at Christmas and got a little extra money and thought it'd be fun."

As he passed out the bills to unsuspecting motorists, he told everyone he met, "I'm Carl Ramsey. God Bless."

The thing is, his name isn't Carl Ramsey.

In a letter given to KMGH, the man explained the motivation behind his act of kindness. Carl Ramsey was a friend who died shortly after high school, and this seemed like a way to embody his giving spirit.

The letter, which was signed simply "friend," read:

    "I am not Carl Ramsey, but today I represent his spirit. Carl was my friend in high school. The guy was a very loving caring young boy with an infectious laugh. Each time you saw him he had a new humorous story to tell. When he started talking with you, not a minute would go by before a crowd would gather following intently listening to his every word. You had a smile on your face being around him, anticipating what he would say next. Sometimes the late bell would ring in the middle of his story and painfully you had to wait a whole class period to hear the end. Carl was an impact person to many of us. That summer after graduation with just 18 years of life under his belt, he was killed in a farming accident. As the years have passed, my imagination has tried to envision what his life would have been like. Today you have seen a small glimpse of Carl Ramsey. In this gesture of giving others a buck for a smile, his amazing spirit lives on.

    From 1975 to 1981, I lost five friends. Our 40th HS anniversary will be celebrated next summer. There will be four more events to celebrate their lives. They have been gone from this earth a long time, but are not forgotten.