The “free hugs” guy

Posted on 28 September 2016 by Ian Schrauth

Student specializes in sharing happiness on campus


By: Caroline Frank
Art & Life Editor


Michael Cables is a Sophomore at Meramec.

Cables is primarily known around campus as the “free hugs guy” because of the sweatshirt he wears with those words written across it. “It actually wasn’t even mine,” Cables said.

A friend gave Cables the sweatshirt because she thought it would make him look “less scary.”

Cables disagreed, saying the words “free hugs” might come across as creepy to some people.

However, he began wearing it because it was the most comfort- able sweatshirt he owned.Free hugs guy

One by one, strangers came up to him, asking for a hug.

“I didn’t think it looked inviting, but I was wrong,” Cables said. Cables estimated that he has received hugs from 62 different people solely because of his sweatshirt.
“But those are only the ones I remember the most,” Cables said. “I keep track in my head if it stands out to me.”

Cables recalled a time he was in Walmart and a little kid approached him, asking for a hug.

“I didn’t know what to do,” Cables said. “I didn’t know if his parents would be okay with that.”

After thinking about it, Cables decided to take his chances.

“I picked him up and swung him around,” Cables said.

The boy’s mom and dad approached Cables with a smile, and extended their arms out for a hug.

“The kid looked so happy,” Cables said. “I was uneasy about doing it at first, but it was definitely worth it.”

Cables also belongs to the gaming club at STLCC, partakes in rugby and mixed martial arts and has a strong interest in engineering.

“I like to see how to put things together and take them apart,”

Cables said.
He is currently working toward an associate degree in General Transfer Studies, but he plans to further his education in engineering and hopes to get a job at Boeing.


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