Source: Daily News- Glendale's oldest city employee kneels down early Monday morning to pick up a few dozen books that have been deposited in the book drop at the Central Library over the weekend.
"The art and reference books are the toughest," 94-year-old Ralph Walroth says. "Some of them weigh 10 pounds. My goodness. Not as bad as the phone books, though."
The weight doesn't seem to bother him. In 10 minutes, Ralph has tossed the heaviest books up on a book truck like they're dime novels.
Just because he turned 94 last week doesn't mean the staff is going to cut Ralph any slack, says his supervisor, Henry Dagbashyan, who wasn't even born when Ralph started the job in 1983.
"He works hard and is always on time," Dagbashyan said, watching Ralph stack books back on the shelves. "Every employee here admires him. To be doing what he's doing at his age, well, he's one pretty amazing guy."
He's slowing down a bit, though, Ralph admits. He puts in about 20 hours a month these days, down from his high of 20 hours a week after retiring from Lockheed, where he worked for 41 years, in 1978.
"After you paint the house, plant the garden, and fix whatever needs fixing, what are you supposed to do - play golf all day?" he asks.
No, not even a golfer - which he is - could fill all those empty hours and get the mental stimulation he needed.
So after taking four years off to finish the lengthy "honey do" list his wife, Eileen, handed him, Ralph walked over to the Chevy Chase library branch near his home and got a job driving the van that delivers books to other branch libraries.
"When they said they needed someone at the main library, I came down here," he says, putting a stack of telephone books back on the shelves.
"And I've been here ever since, with no plans to leave."
For his birthday party last week, Glendale Assistant City Manager Bob McFall made waffles for Ralph and the library staff. It's something he does for many city special occasions and milestones.
"It's a little something, a kind of reward for a job well done," McFall says.
Whether you're a department head running the city or the guy putting returned books back on library shelves.
The oldest city employee in town.