TRAVERSE CITY -- When the first snow of the season hits next winter, the only plowing Jerry Schrader and John Manville will be doing will be in their own driveways.
Schrader and Manville retired this month, each with more than 40 years of service with the Department of Public Works for the City of Traverse City. Many of those years were spent plowing the city streets.
"The worst winter we ever had was '78," said Schrader, with Manville agreeing.
"We would get one end of town cleaned up and then would have to start over," said Manville, who along with his longtime friend are looking forward to retirement.
Both men, who enjoy hunting and fishing, say so far they haven't had time to miss their jobs.
"We have been keeping real busy, but I'm sure the time will come when we will miss it," said Manville, who was hired by the city in 1967.
Schrader, who was hired a year later, knows the day will come when he will miss going to work.
"You think you just walk away, but you don't just do that. I've been there practically my whole life," said Schrader, who along with Manville grew up in Traverse City.
Schrader and Manville aren't the first in their families to have lifelong careers with the City of Traverse City. Both of their fathers and Manville's father-in-law each worked more than 20 years for the city.
"We figured between the five of them, they have about 178 years of service. That's a lot of years," said John's wife, Connie Manville.
For all of their years of service, both men agreed that their memories were great ones.
"The whole thing was good. We had good people to work with," said Schrader, whose recognizable long white beard often had passersby waving hello while he worked on the city streets.
"We are going to miss everyone, the workers and in the community," Manville said.