Advertisement

Working

PHIL GOLD --

March 29, 2001

HE IS

Helping people cross the road

PEDESTRIAN PURSUITS

Those who drive by Victoria Elementary School in the morning or

afternoon can't miss Phil Gold.

For four hours a day, the 75-year-old Costa Mesa man sets up his perch

on the grassy patch by the sidewalk, where he props his green garden

Advertisement

chair and waits for his "customers" -- pedestrians comprised mostly of

students, parents and teachers -- who want to walk across the street.

"It's fun," Gold said. "The kids are so cute."

A FAMILIAR FACE

People's faces light up with a smile when they spot Gold across the

street in his white and blue uniform, glasses and baseball cap.

"Hi there," Gold called out to a grandfather on a recent afternoon, as

he picked up his stop sign and jogged up to the intersection.

He said he enjoys the friendly chatting, little jokes and frequent

smiles.

"It's a nice experience," he said. "Kids come up and hug you.

Sometimes they bring flowers. It's nice to see them getting a good

education."

Some of the parents even teach him a word or two of Spanish

occasionally.

GUIDING THEM TO SAFETY

But mostly he gets the satisfaction of protecting the kids, Gold said.

"My biggest challenge is to make sure nobody gets hurt," he said.

"I've seen a lot of bad drivers. Being on this job, I've become a better

driver. It's made me very conscious of what I do behind the wheel."

Gold retired from selling janitorial supplies in 1989. Now, he works

to pass time or when he feels like it. He has worked at a casino in

Laughlin, and every year is a parking attendant at the Orange County

Fair.

A World War II veteran, Gold recalls his days in the Navy, when he was

sailing the Atlantic.

"It was great," he said. "I was only 17 or 18. We were out there

chasing subs and going back and forth. I would just say I was very

lucky."

This is his second year as a crossing guard, and Gold said he is

pretty sure he'll continue the job for at least another year.

"This is like having your own station," he said. "Everyone knows you,

you know everyone. I feel like I'm part of the school."

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles
|
|
|