Richmond's own Happy the Artist seems better suited to be a mid-'60s commune dweller than a Wall Street Journal market analyst.
But deep thoughts about higher visions haven't stopped this old-guard hippie — known for his brightly painted vehicles — from mellowing in his twilight years, while finding good things to say about cold, hard capitalism.
Happy has occupied much of 2010 with identifying local business owners who take nontraditional approaches to profit.
"I guess the goodness ... it doesn't have to be nonprofit," says Happy, who has donated massive murals to Helping Hands veterinary surgery in Carytown and the Farm to Family Market bus. Both businesses rely as much on the ring of the cash register as on bartering and a desire to do the right thing for the customer.
Meanwhile, Helping Hands' Jackie Morasco (pictured with Happy) is happy that Happy is happy with the vet's efforts to think beyond profit margins. "I don't think any of the things he's supported are what you'd call pure capitalism — maybe capitalism with kindness. So maybe it's not so strange."