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Retiring at 100, Full of Life's Lessons

Last week, Arthur Winston reached two milestones. He turned 100 years old. And he retired from the job he held for more than 70 years. In that time, he missed just one day of work.

Winston had been maintaining buses at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority. Asked why he stuck with the work, Winston's answer starts with a simple idea: "Well, I like my job."

In 1997, President Clinton presented Winston with a congressional citation naming him the "Employee of the Century." A Los Angeles bus terminal now bears his name.

In an interview session with his great-grandnephew, Eric Anthony Givens, a few days before his retirement, Winston offered his views on everything from work to the current obsession with fighting age -- including Viagra.

And in dispensing advice, Winston sounds like a man who has learned the value of a dollar: "Credit-card interest is killing you. People don't understand that."

Despite the decades he has spent working, Winston says he has lived a full life, traveling across America and Europe -- and he has few remaining goals for his retirement years. "You can't wait 'til 99 to do hardly anything," he said.

Still, Winston says he pictures an active retirement. Among his plans: To do some volunteer work at centers for senior citizens.

StoryCorps is the oral history project traveling the country collecting stories of everyday America. The interviews are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. And excerpts are played on Morning Edition each Friday.

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