79-year-old crossing guard going strong since 1999

A 79-year-old Illinois man proves there's no age limit to keeping kids happy and safe. (CNN/WQAD)

ALPHA, Ill. (CNN/WQAD) — An Illinois man proves there’s no age limit to keeping kids happy and safe.

In the small, Illinois town of Alpha, school doesn’t start until Stanley Whitsell does. At 79-years-old, he hasn’t skipped a beat.

Every morning, parents trust their kids with Stan.

“We just drop her off here, and Stan walks her across,” said one parent.

“I don’t miss very many days,” said Stan.

“Rain, snow, he is out here crossing the kids,” said the parent.

And it all started back in 1999 when Stan was asked to be the school’s cross guard.

His response: “Just as well. I ain’t doing nothing.”

“It gets me up and gets me out in the morning, and it’s something to do,” Stan added.

And so it began. Year by year, friendships began to bloom.

“Oh, I get to know them all,” said Stan. “I get to know all of their names.”

And every morning, it’s the same. But with age, comes obstacles.

“I was in the hospital and had a hip done,” recalls Stan. “A bunch of kids come in, and boy, that made me cry. They started singing Christmas carols to me.”

But at 8 a.m., Stan’s day comes to a close. Still, you better believe he will be ready to go come morning.

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