Danville, VA - A Danville woman has been a school crossing guard for nearly six decades, and she is still going strong.
Melba Tanksley, 90, is easily one of the oldest crossing guards in the country. She has worked at several different Danville schools over the years but has been crossing at Johnson for 25 years.
For Tanksley, it's been the same routine for 59 years: Getting children to and from school.
"When I'm down there in that school zone, these are not my biological children but they are mine. I am responsible for them and I am concerned about them," she said.
Tanksley started as a crossing guard in 1953 when she had a new house, young children and a need for extra money. As years passed, that need slowed down, but she kept going.
"This just kind of grew on me I guess. Got in my blood," said Tanksley.
Tanksley says the kids do more for her - bringing her drawings, an occasional picked flower or just motivation.
"It's just a real inspiration to me to know they thought enough of me or even know who I was and why I was there to hand me something," she said.
She has even seen generations pass under her watch.
"I've got second generation and if I can hang in there a little while longer, I can get that third generation, I hope."
While thousands of kids have crossed her path over the years, she says each one has a special place in her heart.
"It's wonderful to know that I've been blessed so that I can. I think that is the only word I know to describe it is just wonderful to be able to work as long as I have."
Tanksley and her husband will have been married for 70 years this December. She plans to work for as long as the city will let her.