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School crossing guards hang up their vests

If you have found yourself trying to navigate the streets at the corner or Adams Boulevard and Avenue G/Georgia Avenue when school is getting ready to start or after it has let out, you have been among the chaos that Carol Hanson and Elaine Smith have been directing each school day.

The pair have been a familiar sight at that corner for years. After making it through many close calls with “inattentive and impatient” drivers, they have decided to put down their stop signs and hang up their neon vests.

“We have been crossing (guards) for six years. It’s time to move on to other things,” Hanson said.

She said she is looking forward to traveling and driving her 11 grandchildren to school.

“I’m leaving because I’m tired of having to be out in the weather. I will miss the kids. I love them and they are what made the last six years worth it,” Smith added.

Hanson, who also said she won’t miss standing out in the elements, said the position has its good points, too.

“I have a great relationship with Carol. We are good friends and will continue that relationship,” Smith said.

She and Hanson have become dear friends while sharing smiles, comfort and a few special treats as they have protected many of Boulder City’s most vulnerable residents get to where they were headed safely.

“We go to our job because we care about the safety of your children, and the children put a smile on our face everyday and give us joy,” Hanson said.

But, she added, the drivers who have put their lives and the lives of the children they protect at risk “rob us of that joy with their impatience.”

The two said they have seen a lot of close calls, and it pains them to think that many of the drivers at their corner don’t seem to see much at all.

Now that the school year has come to a close, Hanson and Smith have guided their last group of students across the streets and left their corners vacant.

Before they left, they offered advice to their replacements.

“Keep your cool. Smile a lot. Try not to let the drivers who are impatient, on their cellphones and speeding get you down,” Hanson said. “It’s hard some days … but what kept us going all those years is the kids. Love, love, love the kids. They have been awesome to us.”

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