School bus driver retired after 70 years behind the wheel

Ulysses Whitfield, a school bus driver in Suffolk, Virginia, is finally retiring at 85-years-old. What's even more amazing is that Whitfield's only taken two half-days off in the last four decades. And even more astonishing than that is the fact Whitfield's been behind the wheel for 70 years.

Whitfield first took the job with Suffolk Public Schools when he was 15-years-old, which was perfectly legal at the time. Over the years, he's seen technology evolve, laws change, and the 1954 US Supreme Court ruling that state-sanctioned segregation at public schools is unconstitutional.

"But it was smooth with me though," Whitfield told WAVY. "I didn't have any problems with the kids at all."

Times may have changed but Whitfield's secret to success on the job remains the same: "Respect the kids, and you will receive respect from them," he says.

For a look in the rear view mirror at his career, Whitfield need only open the leather book he keeps in a plastic bag by his feet. Inside the diary are all the routes he's driven and field trips he's joined. While he doesn't have firm retirement plans yet, he does have at least one more school bus ride ahead once summer ends.

"I'm going to go with [my replacement driver] to make sure the run is done nice and smooth, like I was doing it," he said.

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