Changing of the guard at crossing

September 19, 1994|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,Sun Staff Writer

Dolores Schmeisser guided North Glen Elementary School students across the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and Furnace Branch Road in Ferndale for 27 years. On Friday, she watched Peggy Ingle, one of the students she once helped, do her old job.

"It's a good feeling because I've always had a good relationship with Peggy and her family," said Mrs. Schmeisser, who retired at the end of the last school year.

"The whole family never gave me any problem because the mother was the type to say, 'If they do something wrong, let me know.' That's why you were never any problem to me. Isn't that right?" Mrs. Schmeisser asked, looking at Mrs. Ingle.

The first time Mrs. Schmeisser met Mrs. Ingle, she was little Peggy, a reluctant first-grader whose mother had to walk her to school the first day.

Through the years, Mrs. Schmeisser helped little Peggy and her six brothers and sisters cross the street.

"I really did enjoy it. I really liked my job," Mrs. Schmeisser said. "I loved the children. When you have them straight from first grade and you see them go from first to sixth grade, you get to see them grow up from little tiny tykes, like her." She nodded toward Mrs. Ingle.

"Actually, I felt a little sad taking over your crossing," Mrs. Ingle said. "I hated to see you go."

"Everybody can be replaced," Mrs. Schmeisser told her. "I'm glad she got it because when I come by I can relate to something."

Mrs. Ingle was a crossing guard at Linthicum Elementary School for seven years before coming to North Glen Elementary.

She didn't make the switch for sentimental reasons, she said, but because North Glen is closer to her home on Sunshine Street and she knows some of the children. Her daughter Jennifer is a fifth-grader at the school.

As the two women stood on the corner talking, a little girl toting her backpack on the way to North Glen greeted both of the women by name when they spoke to her.

The women agreed that many of the children don't recognize them when they're out of uniform until they speak to them.

But the job's reward, they say, is the children.

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