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Let's help a 56-year old Detroiter who walks 21 miles a day to work - have a reliable and insured vehicle. Heartwarming story below.
## STORY FROM DETROIT FREE PRESS (by Bill Laitner) ##
Heart and sole: Detroiter walks 21 miles in work commute
He doesn't look athletic but James Robertson, 56, of Detroit has a champ's commute. He rides buses part-way but walks about 21 miles in round trips to a factory, unless his banker pal offers a lift.
Pudgy of form, shod in heavy work boots, Robertson trudges almost haltingly as he starts another workday.
But as he steps out into the cold, Robertson, 56, is steeled for an Olympic-sized commute. Getting to and from his factory job 23 miles away in Rochester Hills, he'll take a bus partway there and partway home. And he'll also walk an astounding 21 miles.
Five days a week. Monday through Friday.
It's the life Robertson has led for the last decade, ever since his 1988 Honda Accord quit on him.
Every trip is an ordeal of mental and physical toughness for this soft-spoken man with a perfect attendance record at work. And every day is a tribute to how much he cares about his job, his boss and his coworkers. Robertson's daunting walks and bus rides, in all kinds of weather, also reflect the challenges some metro Detroiters face in getting to work in a region of limited bus service, and where car ownership is priced beyond the reach of many.
Detroit Man Walks Detroit Man Walks Detroit Man Walks Detroit Man Walks.
But you won't hear Robertson complain — nor his boss.
"I set our attendance standard by this man," says Todd Wilson, plant manager at Schain Mold & Engineering. "I say, if this man can get here, walking all those miles through snow and rain, well I'll tell you, I have people in Pontiac 10 minutes away and they say they can't get here — bull!"
As he speaks of his loyal employee, Wilson leans over his desk for emphasis, in a sparse office with a view of the factory floor. Before starting his shift, Robertson stops by the office every day to talk sports, usually baseball. And during dinnertime each day, Wilson treats him to fine Southern cooking, compliments of the plant manager's wife.
"Oh, yes, she takes care of James. And he's a personal favorite of the owners because of his attendance record. He's never missed. I've seen him come in here wringing wet," says Wilson, 53, of Metamora Township.
With a full-time job and marathon commutes, Robertson is clearly sleep deprived, but powers himself by downing 2-liter bottles of Mountain Dew and cans of Coke.
"I sleep a lot on the weekend, yes I do," he says, sounding a little amazed at his schedule. He also catches zzz's on his bus rides. Whatever it takes to get to his job, Robertson does it.
"I can't imagine not working," he says.
'Lord, keep me safe'
The sheer time and effort of getting to work has ruled Robertson's life for more than a decade, ever since his car broke down. He didn't replace it because, he says, "I haven't had a chance to save for it." His job pays $10.55 an hour, well above Michigan's minimum wage of $8.15 an hour but not enough for him to buy,
A land of no buses
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