What I Do: Frank Tyson, 73, Parking-Lot Attendant 

Charles Schwaub Building, Seventh and Main streets

You find some people are a little snotty to you. They come in, in a hurry. I always tell them, "Don't worry, I'll take care of your car for you." I just smile and keep on going. Next thing you know they come back and say, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I guess I was wrong." I just chalk it up and mind my own business. I don't have no problem with people.

There's my car right there with my name on it [points to a burgundy Cadillac with personalized license plates.] I drive every day. The pictures on the wall in here are of my kids. I've got three girls and three boys.

I went into the Army on July 9, 1951. I was in Korea. That's where I spent all my time. I was in the third amphibian trucking company. I came out on July 4 of '53.

I went back to New York and started working in a kitchen. The doctor told me I couldn't work any more 'cause my heart was scratched. It was enlarged. So I was operated on. I stayed in the hospital 11 months and 19 days. I didn't do nothing for two years.

My brother begged me to come to Richmond. He drove for Overnite [Transportation] for 37 years. I came here in '78 and started working for Overnite. I couldn't manage the work because of my heart. I had an allotment from the government, but I got tired of doing nothing. I started filling in for the guy here and pretty soon they offered me the job. Now 22 years later I'm still here.

About 16 years ago, I made up my mind I wasn't going to smoke or drink no more, not even a beer. I told myself I was going to stop while I was ahead. I'm not that big of a Christian but I haven't touched either. I feel good. I get up on Fridays and wash my car. I put the wax on and wipe it off. I go inside and watch TV for a while then go to Captain D's for something to eat. I'm just enjoying myself. That's the only thing. You'll never hear me say, "I sure hate to go to work."

— As told to Brandon Walters; Photographed by Chad Hunt.


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