Today is Crossing Guard Appreciation Day in Illinois, and Burr Ridge resident Steve Less is no less vigilant about having students walk their bikes across the street and wait for cars to make complete stops at stop signs. He mans his post outside Hinsdale's Oak School four times a day, rain or shine, warmth or cold.
Oak School's Parent Teacher Organization and School District 181 officials thanked Less and his colleagues. He received the appreciation showed him, but continued to keep a watchful eye on the street.
Do you have a job outside of being a crossing guard?
I'm retired. I was the director of operations at Flow Service Corporation in Burr Ridge for 18 years. The company designs and makes seals for water pumps, and it's a fast-paced market. I'm not doing too well in the more laid back life of retirement.
What street do you live on?
Chestnut Hills Road.
What do you like about Burr Ridge?
I've lived in Burr Ridge for 14 years, and I enjoy the peace and quiet and the safety. It's very spacious too. Hinsdale is adorable, but it's so crowded and the houses are crammed together. Burr Ridge seems to have more breathing room in our neighborhoods.
How did you become a crossing guard?
I've been a crossing guard for six years. I retired when I was 48 and needed something to do. You can only play so much golf and plant so many flowers. I saw an advertisement from the police department, and I'd already been retired for two years without much going on, so I figured spending time around kids would liven me up.
Do you have any hobbies?
I enjoy rebuilding motorcycles. Right now I'm working on a 1976 Triumph Bonneville. I rebuilt a '67 Corvette and then needed a new challenge, so I turned to vintage English motorcycles. I've always had a fascination with anything mechanical. Learning how everyday things work is interesting, but also makes me sad when I see someone not taking care of their vintage car or machine. I also have about 45 house plants. I've been multiplying them and it's a lot easier than I thought.
What community issues are important to you?
The one we're working on right now is the Saia Trucking , which is a 24-hour trucking company that makes a lot of noise. I'm on the Board of Directors of Chestnut Hills Homeowners Association and a number of other members are disturbed by the noise as well. That property is actually in the process of being annexed by the village and then some sound barriers will be built for us. The annexation should be up at the May 24 meeting. Working with the village has been a pleasure, especially since we seem to have found a resolution to this mess.