LOS ANGELES — Few folks get to reach the age of 100. Fewer still get to celebrate it with a busload of friends — and with the Los Angeles Laker Girls.
But for Arthur “Deke” Winston, turning 100 is no big deal. Not going to work from now on is what will take some getting used to.
“I'm flabbergasted,” says Winston. “I'm happy, I'm nervous.”
Winston retired this week after 75 years of cleaning and then supervising the maintenance of first, Los Angeles trolleys, and then buses. He never took one sick day and only missed one day of work — when his wife passed away.
“He gets here before I do,” says Winston’s boss, Alex DiNuzzo, the Metro Transit Authority manager, adding, “And I get here at 5 in the morning.”
Winston was born in 1906 — when Teddy Roosevelt was president, when corn flakes were introduced and when finding a job wasn't easy for a black man.
But he distinguished himself with his professionalism and stamina, outlasting all of his co-workers including his buddy, Steve Hearn.
“You talking about the bunny rabbit, the energizer,” says Hearn. “That's the energizer in there!”
What’s Arthur Winston's recipe for success?
“I don’t smoke and don’t drink,” Winston says. “Never did.”
And, he advises, stay away from credit cards.
Arthur went about his work without much fanfare until Wednesday, when the media crashed his retirement party.
“I guess I’m a star!” he says.
The 100-year-old surprised nobody by announcing that during his retirement, he'll stay busy — volunteering, he says, helping old people.
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