On Saturday, Liberty Tax in downtown Alhambra will be offering free returns for new customers in exchange for a donation of $50 or more to American Red Cross efforts in Japan. It's part of a company-wide initiative that occurred at branches nationwide on March 19, but the Alhambra branch plans to continue again this weekend.
Out front Sergio Jimenez will likely be dressed in long mint-green gown, foam visor on his head, and waving a sign encouraging people to enter the shop. The 46-year-old Guadalajara native said his job is not always easy. There's the heat, kids have lobbed cans at him and sometimes even stink bombs. Still, he says, it's "a cool job."
"I like it. You're not inside working your butt off for $8 an hour," said Jimenez, who has also labored as a mechanic, construction worker, cook and more. For the past six years, he has served as Lady Liberty in Alhambra, El Monte and East LA. There's no question the corner of Garfield and Main Street is his favorite. "I like getting the attention," he said. "I'm always waving — every car that goes by." He also finds the community more tolerant, noting that "in East LA I cannot wear a dress."
While he waves, and the company taught him to walk on stilts, one thing that Jimenez does not do is dance. In that, he is unlike other Lady Liberties from across the country. From moonwalking to krumping, there's no question these ladies — and men — can bust a move. But it does make one wonder, how is this enticing people to hand over tax documents?