WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — When you walk through the gates at the Big E fairgrounds, you are often greeted with a friendly face. One man, who has volunteered at the fair for over four decades, is a familiar face to many.
Tom D’Amato is the oldest worker at The Big E, and arguably the most popular.
“They recognize me and they acknowledge me…’Hello Tommy, how are you?’ ‘Where you going?’ ‘Nice to see you’,” D’Amato explains.
Up until last year, D’Amato was driving himself to work, but now, he gets picked up. His friends know that he has been at the fair for 47 years and he can’t miss one now.
“In my life, I have always worked. I never sat down. I had 2 jobs.”
D’Amato’s actual birthday was May 8, but a belated celebration was held Wednesday.
“I was in the hospital the time they celebrated so i couldn’t attend his other party, but this is terrific right now really,” adds Gene Galica.
Joined by his ‘Big E buddy’ Gene, who’s 89-years-old, both are proud members of the Springfield Elks Club.
They donate their time at the fair together, selling guide books for a great cause.
“We help youngsters go to college,” D’Amato says.
And his family here by his side today too.
So, of course age is just a number, but we have to know: how do to keep my energy up when you’re close to 90 or 100 years old?
Galica says. “It just comes naturally”
Good advice, and D’Amato plans to keep coming back for more.
“I’m going to come here as long as I can walk.”