Food & Wine

Maxine Anderson's Story: 90-Year-Old Waitress - “Work Keeps You Young.”

Sveva Valeria Castegnaro
copertina cameriera maxine anderson

Maxine Anderson's elixir for a long life seems to be work: the 90-year-old waitress still serves 5 days a week. Here, she explains why.

Cover photo: credits "Spectrum News 1"-Jacqulyn Powell

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Some stay young by doing crosswords, others play card games, some stick to physical activity, and then there's Maxine Anderson, who works at the age of 90, serving meals to hungry groups. "It's fun. The best job I've ever had!" Anderson says with a smile to Spectrum News 1. For 35 years, she has been employed at a well-known fast-food brand on Dixie Highway, the road where she grew up in the Valley Station neighborhood in Louisville, Kentucky. Maxine started working at the Louisville location when her husband retired after thirty years in his career. Since then, he takes care of domestic chores, such as grocery shopping and preparing homemade delicacies, as Maxine chooses to continue zooming between tables five days a week.


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Mrs. Anderson shares how working closely with people keeps her active, happy, and full of energy. "I wouldn't be happy sitting at home. This way, I feel much better. Walking every day, I think it keeps me younger." She works in the hall, welcoming and serving customers with whom she has built beautiful friendships and confidences over the years. "Maxine makes life so much fun, and I look forward to meeting and talking to her every day. I hope to have that much energy when I'm her age. I'm getting close!" confesses Neva Thompson, a loyal customer of the Dixie Highway establishment. Maxine is the real added value to the service, and everyone hopes she continues to be so for many more years.

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"We'll retire together," jokes Matt Dodd, the elderly woman's manager, who humorously counters, "She'll get me a little electric cart when I can't walk anymore." The restaurant team is grateful for her work and, above all, for the contagious energy of the witty ninety-year-old, who had a surprise party organized for her birthday some time ago. "They had written my name on a billboard and prepared a beautiful party. I don't consider myself that special, really!" she deflects.

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However, Anderson is not just a tireless worker; she is also a woman with a big and generous heart. Every week, with her church, she feeds hundreds of homeless people. Daily, after work, she takes the breakfast leftovers, which would otherwise be discarded, to the animals near her home. It seems that working with passion and doing good is her elixir for a long life!

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