Springfield Janitor Is A Big Hit With Colleagues - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Springfield Janitor Is A Big Hit With Colleagues

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by Chris Conte

SPRINGFIELD, Tenn. -  As the janitor of Springfield City Hall, long are the days of James Cantrell but the 87-year-old has found a way to carry himself and his coworkers through the day.

"I've been here 50 years, that wasn't very long," James said on a recent Thursday.

Mayors, city planners, receptionists, they've all come and gone since James first started in 1962 but he is still here.

"This is not the only job I've had of course but it's the one I've had longer than any of them," he adds.

Why the city has kept him around for so long though might have more to do with his singing skills than his sweeping skills.

"You can't help but just chuckle and it just makes you smiles," one co-worker said.

As James roams the halls of city hall sweeping and carry out the trash, he also carries a tune or two.

"He's singing, because he's always happy," explained administrative assistant Amy Darrow.

There is a raspiness in James' voice though that hasn't always been there, it only started a few years ago.

"Cancer, ya. He had cancer," said colleague Ann Ellis.

So dedicated to his job James would go to chemo treatments on his lunch break so he wouldn't miss a day of work.

The cancer is gone and so is his old voice.

"Lord ya I miss it because it's so raspy, I wish you could hear one when it wasn't raspy it'd be a whole lot better. Much better than it is now," said James.

Around here though  they don't care how James sounds, just as long as they can hear him.

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