Robin Murray has special ties to her job as the Johnson Elementary School crossing guard: She replaced Mrs. White, the 45-year crossing guard who crossed her in junior high.
"She was a great lady," said Murray, who also doles out lunches to Natick schoolchildren and acts as a matron for the Natick Police Department.
The lifetime Natick resident—with a short break in Millis—said she loves her job. The best part?
"The kids, definitely. I know every single one of them and their parents," she said in a recent interview. "And the kids know me. Sometimes I see them out (at stores) too, and they say 'Look, it's Mrs. Murrary.'"
Her hours, though not 9 to 5, are regular. You can expect to see her out there, if there's school, from 7:50 to 8:45 a.m. and again from 2:10 to 3 p.m. Murray said she was a lunch lady when her boyfriend told her of the opening for guard. At the time, in 2003, it was temporary, but soon became fulltime.
She said though she loves her job, it does come with challenges.
"The weather is the big one," said the guard who dresses in layers to stay warm. But there are times when that doesn't help, such as "the frigid temperatures four years ago. That was hard."
The other challenge is traffic, she said, because Route 27 isn't exactly a slow road.
"With solar glare it can be hard for them to see me, so I never step out until I know traffic is stopped," she said, adding she took safety classes when she began to get to know the best way to stop traffic. "And the kids and parents know to wait, too. There is a line on one sidewalk and a trellis on the other. They stop at those," until Murray gives to green.
But she said she is not deterred by speeding cars or the danger of stepping in the middle of the road.
"If you play it safe and know what you are doing, you are OK," she said.