Danny Brown started walking to work about 15 years ago, when a coworker who gave him a ride went on vacation and neglected to tell him.
Since then, he has walked nearly 10 1/2 miles daily to work five days a week, The Columbia Daily Herald reported.
“That was the last time I took a ride to work. I didn’t mind the walk and didn’t have to rely on anyone,” Brown told the Daily Herald. “I hardly ever missed a day and was never late. I had a lot of people over who wanted to give me rides, but I could not take the chance of them not showing up.”
He would accept rides home after his shift, which started at 10 p.m.
Brown, who worked as a janitor at a General Motors propulsion systems building, would go through about six pairs of shoes a year.
Despite being surrounded by new vehicles, he never had an interest in owning one. He has a bicycle and over the years had some dilapidated vehicles.
“I had an old lady stop me once and asked if she could give me a 10-speed bike to ride,” Brown told the Daily Herald. “I said ‘No,’ that I had a bike. Then she said, ‘If I buy you a car, will you drive it?’ I said, ‘No.’”
His determination inspired those who worked with him.
“Many of our members have stopped to offer assistance and pick him up,” Mike Herron, chairman of the United Auto Workers, where Brown was a member, told the Daily Herald. “It never mattered what the weather was, he was committed to getting to work on time. He would say, ‘Thank you very much. Have a blessed day.’”
Brown last walked to work about a month ago. He officially retires Oct. 22.
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.