94-year-old School Crossing Guard

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by Jennifer Tomazic

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee Public School crossing guard celebrated his third career and another huge milestone recently.

Mr. James Fischer commemorated his 94th birthday while getting lots of kids safely across the street at Manitoba School.

Most stopped to say happy birthday and some even gave him a present. They're the reason he says he loves his job.

"They say 'good morning, Mr. Fischer,' and that, in itself, is enough to give me energy for the rest of the day," said Fischer.

He started as a school crossing guard 21 years ago. "And I have, to my credit, six perfect years," said Fischer. "Through rain and snow and you name it."

The weather isn't the only thing Fischer has to contend with daily. He says cars come flying through the intersection of 41st and Forest Home at 40 to 60 miles an hour.

He says to make them stop, "I put this stop sign in their face. I really stuff it down their throats."

"He told me around the age of 70 or 71, he wanted to start a new career. I was blown away," said Manitoba Principal Andrew Vitrano.

He helped organize a birthday party for the 94-year-old in the school yard, complete with cupcakes, balloons, and a certificate from Alderman Bob Donovan.

"Our kids need what Mr. Fischer offers and we need a lot more Mr. Fischers," said Vitrano.

Fischer says walking on his treadmill at least five minutes a day keeps him young and not smoking.

"All I hope is that the Lord lets me get to 100," said Fischer.

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