NEEDHAM (CBS) – Twice a day the fluorescent vest comes out. White gloves slip on. David Pinkham puts on his game face and goes off.
“I was like, ‘Okay, Dave, keep going. Let’s do this. Let’s get this traffic moving.
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Outside Newman Elementary School in Needham, during drop-off and pick-up, it’s Pinkham on patrol. There is no doubt that Central Street offers challenges.
“There are six lanes of traffic – one, two, three, four, five, six – that go into the school, and then you have to get the kids through that,” Pinkham said, pointing excitedly. . And finger pointing is something he does a lot. Pinkham always points, runs, waves and above all impresses.
Needham’s parent Dave Lazarus said: “Mr. Pinkham is the best crossing guard I’ve seen. It maintains circulation. He’s great with the kids, and he dances there every day, and he’s the best.
Pinkham hasn’t been a sergeant for a long time.
So where did he learn to move kids and cars with military precision? In the army, in fact.
“The job was to hunt Soviet submarines. It was an anti-submarine warfare squadron.
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Pinkham was in the United States Navy. His job during the Cold War was to direct air traffic on the tarmac.
“It was very difficult – there was so much going on and you had to be careful. There are so many squadrons of helicopters, jets, P-3s, and they are moving everywhere simultaneously. “
In 1981, Navy magazine featured Pinkham. The article was about his infectious energy flying planes and how his enthusiasm made him a favorite with Navy pilots.
How does his job as a brigadier compare to his work in the Navy? With a very serious look, Pinkham said: “It’s pretty much the same.”
Now it’s buses instead of bombers. Strollers instead of squads. But the 60-year-old is serious. He works outside of school – outside of school hours.
But David Pinkham teaches children that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
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“I want people to know that this guy cares about him, that’s what I do there. It’s important to me.”