After over 45 years of standing at same intersection, NYC’s beloved crossing guard retires at 90

Stephen Nartey June 05, 2024
Maggie Poston retires. Photo credit: Fox 5 New York

Maggie Poston has finally decided to bow out at the age of 90. Her illustrious career began in 1978 as a crossing guard at PS 282 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, at 6th Avenue and Lincoln Place. The widowed mother of two’s work at the spot has earned it the name “Miss Maggie’s Corner”.

“She’s always on her post, never sitting,” Poston’s supervisor, School Crossing Coordinator Ida Ripo-Ramos, told the New York Post.

Poston was 44 years old when she began the job as a crossing guard. During that period, Jimmy Carter was president, Ed Koch was mayor, the Bee Gees were at the top of the charts, and “Grease” had just hit theaters, the Post said.

She took up this role after a department store she worked at folded up. She learned about the crossing guard position through a friend and applied for the role.

“I was looking for a job,” she recalled. “I love kids.”

Poston is always at post at 9:30 a.m. and returns in the afternoon with a petite fixture positioned at her corner. On a spring day, a woman pushed a stroller past Poston, then turned back to declare, “She’s awesome!” The seasoned crossing guard responded with a broad smile saying “Everybody knows me.” 

The season determines where she stands. In winter, Poston chooses to stand on the school’s side of the street while in summer, she takes comfort under the tree shades at the other end. The snowy days are little of a worry to her, but, on “rainy days, it is terrible,” she said.

She’s rarely ever taken a day off in the last 45 years she took the post. “She’s got, like, I don’t even know, maybe 1,000 hours of sick leave piled up. She doesn’t take it,” said Ripo-Ramos, who’s known her for 18 years. “She amazes me.” 

Poston is also noted for not napping in between shifts. She spends her weekends at church and later bonds with her two children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Over the 40 years she has been stationed at the same intersection, nothing much has changed there.

“It’s nice, quiet. Everybody minds their own business,” she said.

She conceded that there’s “more traffic now,” but said everyone still “obeys” her.

“I have no problem,” she said of the growing number of cars and drivers. “I tell them stop, they stop. I tell them go, they go.” 

Her colleagues were taken aback when she turned 90 this January.

“I thought she was 83,” said Ripo-Ramos.

She will finally drop her yellow reflector vest later this month at the end of the school year. She is looking forward to exploring the world and taking a trip to Jamaica.

 “I’ve been working all my life. All my life,” she said. “It’s time to travel.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 5, 2024


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