PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – You have to have a special spirit to be a crossing guard, especially for three decades, all on the same corner. For more than 6,000 school mornings, Miss Carman has kept the children of Samuel Gompers School safe.
Carman E. Harris is one of the longest-serving crossing guards in the city of Philadelphia.
“I really do feel honored,” said Miss Carman, “because we get out here in the morning, the kids feel secure. You have drivers, they wave to you, they talk to you, they honk the horn, so you know they’re supporting you.”
Miss Carman grew up in the Wynnefield neighborhood. Since she was 25 years old, she has walked from home to her job at her corner of North 57th Street and Wynnefield Avenue.
It’s not rare for a crossing guard to be on the same corner their entire career, but it is rare to be so loved and as part of the community as Miss Carman is.
“Oh man!” said Jarrod Grant. “I’ve known Miss Carman the crossing guard since I was about six years old. I’m now 39.”
“I’m blessed to see these children grow up, graduate from college, get married,” Miss Carman said. “I have been invited to quite a few weddings.”
She is now almost 60 and plans on retiring in 2022.
“As long as the knees say okay, I’m gonna say okay,” she said.
Miss Carman has seen second and even third generation school children.
“My son now, who is seven years old and in first grade, is now being crossed by Miss Carman as well,” Jarrod said. “That’s an important role, you know, that she’s played, in my life and a number of other kids’ lives.”