The Perfect Worker Calls It Quits

Arthur Winston usually drives to work, but today he decided to take the bus. Mr. Winston turned 100 Wednesday, but that's not the only reason for all the hoopla. As CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker reports, it's also his last day on the job — he's retiring after 72 continuous years at a Los Angeles bus yard.

Even more remarkable; Winston is retiring with his unblemished work record intact. It was this incredible record that first drew CBS News to Mr. Winston when he was only 98.

Back then, we noted that this cleaning supervisor at an L.A. city bus yard had never been late, never called in sick, never punched out early. It was the best work record the U.S. Labor Department had ever heard of.

Two years later, it still is.

"That expression, 'When they made him, they threw the mold away.' That's it," says supervisor Alex DeNuzzo.

It might seem that only good times are etched on Winston's face. But these eyes have seen it all. As he told CBS News when we first met him, he started this job back in 1934, when vast Los Angeles was tied together by electric trolleys, but divided by race. African-American transit workers had separate washrooms and few opportunities.

Winston noted in 2004 that he "couldn't be a mechanic, couldn't be a bus driver, couldn't be a streetcar operator." But he could clean … so he did — through riots and earthquakes. He did miss one day of work – the day he buried his wife of 65 years.

They say hard work is its own reward, but Winston has picked up some others along the way — from presidents and mayors. The city even named this bus yard after him.

"I'm going to miss it," Winston says of his job. "Sure am."

He says he might sleep in Thursday... and after that, he might work with senior citizens. Regardless, he plans to keep active. After all, he's only 100.