LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) - She's helped thousands of students get to and from school, but a local crossing guard is hanging up her stop sign for good. Elizabeth Goodin started the job back in 1970, making countless memories and days along the way.
Elizabeth has worked at a dozen schools over the decades. Nearly five decades on a job is impressive for someone who just took the position on a whim.
“A friend of mine, well a neighbor and a friend, she was a precinct captain, and it was her job to appoint somebody for this job. She probably called me five or six times and said why don’t you do that? I said no, I’m afraid I’ll crash cars. No, I don’t think I can do that,” Elizabeth said.
She eventually came around to the idea, and the rest is history.
“I had five children over at St. Bartholomew. I was taking them every morning and picking them up, and I thought you know what, I’m here anyways, I might as well get paid,” Elizabeth said.
There are a few crossing guards with a few more years under their belts than Elizabeth, but she’s near the top of the list.
“We’re sort of like the Supreme Court justices. We can stay here until we kick the bucket. There’s no age discrimination so you can stay as long as you want to or until death do us part,” Elizabeth said.
Instead of kicking the bucket, Elizabeth is choosing to pair it with a mop instead as she heads into this next chapter.
“I have a new career cleaning my house,” Elizabeth said.
Year after year, she’s practically seen it all.
“A little bit of everything, actually, yeah,” Elizabeth said.
Some things she’ll miss dearly. Some things she won’t.
“I’m looking forward to getting a cup of coffee and watching it snow, sitting on my couch and watching it snow,” Elizabeth said.
There have been a lot of cold days and some with a little extra warmth.
“I was smoking a cigarette waiting for the kids. It was cold and dark and the cigarette fell out of my hand and into my purse. I looked over and my purse was on fire,” Elizabeth said.
Ever the optimist, Elizabeth has chosen to smile and laugh through it all.
“It’s good that people still remember you. Of course I haven’t changed a bit. They just have,” Elizabeth said.
The source of all of that energy is still a bit of a mystery.
"Well, that’s a good question, and I don’t know the answer to that. It’s just my nature,” Elizabeth said. “I’m surrounded with a lot of really good people. I think that’s it.”
Her positive personality makes all the difference time after time.
“You don’t really think of this job as being all that important, but I do think you touch a lot of lives. I’ve probably crossed three generations anyhow. I’m sure I have,” Elizabeth said. “I’m not here to save the world or anything, but if they need just to talk you know, it’s good just to listen to them, you know. Oh, this too shall pass, things will get better. A lot of times you just need to listen to them. They just need to vent. I always encouraged them to stay in school. When you stay in school, you work harder, not smarter.”
The road to retirement is paved with so many memories. Come September 1, Elizabeth will toss the stop sign and white gloves for one last time, crossing one road and starting down another.
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