It’s all about keeping people happy for Bear the traffic controller. (Supplied: Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure)
Have you been caught up among the dust, heat and noise of Adelaide’s O-Bahn tunnel project, only to be greeted by a traffic controller with a long, flowing beard and an almost permanent grin?
Anthony “Bear” Saska has become somewhat of a local icon for passers-by.
“I’ve been through plenty of roadworks myself and you see some miserable people on the bat [stop/slow sign],” Bear told ABC Radio Adelaide‘s Mornings program.
“[Being unhappy] is pointless, it gives you an ulcer, so I just keep smiling, keep the people in the cars smiling and maintain positivity.”
As a way to keep people entertained while waiting at the roadworks, Bear has been known to don a costume.
“I spent two days in 30-plus weather in a Santa suit.
“It was like being rolled up in an oiled sheepskin and shoved in an oven.”
It was worth it though according to Bear.
“[Seeing] the look on people’s faces and kids with their eyes as wide as dinner plates — I was a happy man.”
Anthony ‘Bear’ Sasha back on the job at Adelaide’s O-Bahn construction site. (ABC Local Radio: Spence Denny)
He has also been known to use his deep velvet tones to serenade a few frustrated motorists.
“I had one young lady who had two screaming kids in the backseat … I’d stopped the traffic and she was right in front of me.
“I flipped the bat over like a guitar and started playing Only You Can Make My Dreams Come True.
“After about 30 seconds of that she’s doubled over the steering wheel laughing her guts out, the kids have stopped crying and are just looking at me bug-eyed and they drove off with big…