'America's Oldest Worker' Has A Sweet Life

If you drive into Quinter, Kan., and ask anyone, "Where's Waldo?" they'll tell you he's at work, of course.

Ralph Waldo McBurney still goes to work at his honey business every day, CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports in this week's Assignment America. Unfortunately, summer is bee season, so things aren't exactly buzzing now. But the mere fact that he shows up at all earned him the title "America's Oldest Worker," an honor recently bestowed on him at a ceremony in Washington.

Waldo is 104 years old, and has a driver's license to prove it. It doesn't expire until 2010.

"The license may last longer than I do," he says.

Don't count on it. Ralph Waldo McBurney has already outlived even his gravestone's expectations. Written on his headstone is "1902-19--."

"I'm just going to let somebody else worry about that," he explains with a laugh.

Only On The Web: Watch more of Steve Hartman's chat with Ralph Waldo McBurney.
Waldo says he's still here because he never smoke or drank and always ate his vegetables. And, perhaps there's another secret to his longevity: He keeps very busy.

He even wrote a book. It's a self-published autobiography called "My First 100 Years." During the off-season for honey, he keeps buys signing every single copy and mailing every single order, which isn't easy. When you're 104, sometimes getting off the porch isn't easy.

But Waldo insists on staying active, basically because it beats the alternative — hiring a stone mason. Or, as Waldo put it, "Use it or lose it!"



To purchase a copy of Ralph Waldo's book send $11 plus $2 shipping and handling to:
R.W. McBurney
Box 277
Quinter, KS 67752

  • Melissa McNamara

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