Green Street resident Gerald Newman who’s acquired a nickname as the neighborhood’s “Mr. Clean,” is not your typical retiree. While some of his contemporaries spend their golden years playing leisurely games of pinochle, Newman volunteers his free time painting out graffiti and picking up trash on Bonham city streets.

In recognition of his decades of community service, the Bonham regional Clean City Coalition recently awarded Newman the “One Neat Citizen” Clark Award. The quarterly award honors individual citizens, merchants, and community groups for their outstanding efforts to keep Bonham and its areas litter-free.

Newman has picked up trash almost every day for more than 15 years. After retiring from his career as a lithographer and government clerk, he began each day with a stroll and ended up filling several paper sacks with refuse each morning.

“I just thought somebody should pick the paper up”, he says. “Besides, I felt proud when I looked at a street that I cleaned.”

Now 90, Newman has curtailed his daily trash pickups on doctor’s orders, but he’s still one of Bonham city’s most active residents, and a leading force in the neighborhood group the Oak Street Club for Gentlemen and Ladies.

Newman was one of seven Clark Award winners honored by the Bonham Clean City Coalition at a luncheon held December 1. The coalition, formed in November 2006, is a privately sponsored organization comprised of neighborhood groups, merchant associations, local government, corporations, and individuals. To make donations or join the clean-up wagon, call them directly.