This 92-year-old veteran is proving age is just a number.
At the Pearl River Hotel, many people come for the drinks. When 92-year-old Richard Whelan is behind the bar, they stay for the conversation.
“It’s one of those things where I just like to meet people,” Whelan said.
There’s also the occasional history lesson, with visuals stored on his flip phone. He’s a WWII Navy veteran.
“I joined the Navy when I was 17, 1944,” Whelan said. “I still remember the Morse code, I think.”
After the war, Richard, who goes by Dick, worked as a machinist. But when his factory shut down, he found himself unemployed, until Keith Kennedy’s grandfather came along.
“He used to hang out here. Got his pink slip, and my grandfather hired him, and he has been here ever since,” Kennedy said.
Dick doesn’t do any fancy martinis.
“Right now, I’m a shot and a beer man. Maybe a Bloody Mary, or something like that,” he said.
He does do companionship well. It’s something you could say he’s learned from experience, and he has no plans to slow down.
“I still have a good heart. I don’t have any big ailments. I just keep going,” he said.
From the battlefield to the bar, this veteran has found his second calling.
Every work day, since his first day, Dick always comes dressed in a shirt and tie.
He says he has at least 100 of them.