By Billie Rama, Managing Editor, CBSNewYork.com.
NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Bob Adams loves to work.
The WWII veteran greets people as they enter Lowe’s in Charlotte, North Carolina, the store he has been working at since 2003.
What’s so special about that, you ask? Adams is 93 years old. He rarely takes time off with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas. He also spends Labor Day weekend with his entire family (six kids, 17 grandkids and three great grandkids) for a yearly family reunion.
“Other than that, I don’t have anything else that I need to do,” he said. “I’m not able to do physical work anymore, so I’d just as soon be at Lowe’s as well as anywhere because there I feel like I’m doing something good.”
Adams joined the Navy the day after he learned from his brother that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. He was 17. Seventy-six years later, he hasn’t slowed down much.
“I enjoyed being in the Navy,” Adams said. “If the war hadn’t come along, I was going to join the Navy and make a career out of it. Once the war came and I got into it, after about four years, I was discharged. Then I decided against that.”
Adams once manned a 40-millimeter anti-aircraft gun on a Navy destroyer during the invasion of Normandy on D-Day. “We were supposed to invade on June 5th but there was a storm on the English Channel so we turned around and went back.”
When asked where he got such an incredible work ethic, Adams said it runs in the family: His dad was raised on a farm and he worked all his life, too.
“I guess I believe God put us on Earth to work as long as we could. I guess that’s it. You know retirement is man-made, it’s not God-made.”
Adams also had some advice for younger generations, saying the key to success in work and in life is honesty.
“The best thing to do is, first of all, be honest with everything you do, and don’t tell lies,” he said. “Because if you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything. I would say be truthful with yourself first, and everything else will work out. Decide what you want to do, and go at it wholeheartedly.”
And while on the subject of advice, Adams has some for President Donald Trump.
“One piece of advice I would give him is to forget about the media, and let’s get things done. If he just ignores it, then they’ll go away. I would love to be able to tell him that to his face.”
Adams is one of the 10,000-plus veterans employed at Lowe’s. His favorite thing about working at the home-improvement store is being with friends whom he has known for quite some time. He greets customers at the front door and enjoys meeting people.
“I enjoy being with a good company. Lowe’s is a good company,” he said. “The best thing you can do for anybody if you’re going to be in the retail business or any other type of business is to give them service. Because service is the most important thing. Lowe’s is sort of a haven for me, and it makes me feel like I’m still doing some good.”
Adams normally works five days per week, but happens to have D-Day off this year. As far as his plans for June 6, he said he’s probably just going to watch some of the D-Day coverage on TV and will “remember a lot of those things that happened that day.”
He said he also might have a gin and tonic. Cheers to you, Bob. Thank you for your service, both in the military and now.
And if you’re ever in North Carolina, stop by store No. 1112 and say hi.