Custodian Wears Heart on Hat

1 decade 2 years 7 months ago Tuesday, June 20 2006 Jun 20, 2006 Tuesday, June 20, 2006 9:42:15 AM CDT June 20, 2006 in News

At 95, it's not just his age that's impressive. Ulrich served his country during World War II. He can fix anything, and rebuilt a 1978 Pinto from engine to frame.

One of nine children, Ulrich used to sew clothes for his brothers and sisters. Now, he uses that talent to mend holes in the Mexico school's mascot.

"We love Oscar and we're here to take care of him," said Principal Lynn Becker.

Teacher Fran Robley added, "Oscar lost his wife a couple years ago and I think it helps him get going in the morning to have us to take care of."

Ulrich responded, "It's about the best job I've ever had, and I like the kids and the teachers. I don't know, I guess they look after an old guy."

Teacher Pam Ryburn recalled, "On my birthday, he came into my room and said, 'Here's a gold coin for you. I always give the teachers gold coins on their birthdays.' And it was a gold Sacajawea dollar."

Assistant Principal Angie Watson said, "We always tell him, 'Good night and we'll see him tomorrow.' He says, 'I'll see you tomorrow, I hope, I hope.' And that's how he ends the day with us, everyday."

But this day ended differently for Ulrich. After 95 years, no better day than his birthday for his colleagues to tip their hats. After birthday cake and a special present, Ulrich took off his hat for the first time in a long time.

"There's nothing wrong with me, as far as I know, and I'm lucky to be this old," he admitted. "I don't believe I've had a job I enjoyed as much as this."

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