At seven in the morning with a glint in his eye while manning his post, crossing guard Steve Bottcher told student and faculty walkers that Tuesday marked the 55th anniversary of the first date at a college dance with his later-to-be-wife. I wondered if the dance included a first kiss. Yes, said Steve, but only after asking politely.
(See Steve’s “I’m Glad I’m There, Too!,” a short reflective essay on his experiences as a crossing guard.)Now in his fourth season, Steve is one of eleven crossing guards employed by the Town of Brighton police department to keep pedestrians and bicyclists safe as they come and go to schools throughout the Brighton Central School District.
Rain, snow, sleet or shine, you’ll see the guards in their yellow vests guiding people across the streets while cautioning drivers.
Ever amiable, offering a hearty greeting and words of encouragement, Steve knows the names of most of his clientele. Today he was pointing out the planet Venus that shone in the sky above the school.After 5 years as an elementary school teacher and 40 years as a sales representative, Steve found his retirement calling. He even takes photographs from his post.
The longest tenured guard is Mary Lyons at 30 years. Mary has been stationed all over town and is currently at the Indian Landing Elementary School in Penfield. Mary’s husband Tom has been a guard for about 5 years. Ever alert, right after I took the photo, Tom helped to her feet a girl who slipped in the slick conditions.
Undeterred by darkness or cold, Bob Cohen watched traffic flows on the corner of Elmwood and Winton across from the Brighton Fire Department station. Bob’s service is only one year less than Mary’s, 29 years. Bob worked for the town before shifting in semi-retirement to his morning and afternoon crossing guard duties.
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