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Detroit Man Who Walked Miles to Work Settles into New Life

  • Associated Press

Detroit resident James Robertson reacts next to the 2015 red Ford Taurus sedan he was surprised with as a free gift at the Suburban Ford dealership in Sterling Heights, Michigan, Feb. 5, 2015.

Detroit resident James Robertson reacts next to the 2015 red Ford Taurus sedan he was surprised with as a free gift at the Suburban Ford dealership in Sterling Heights, Michigan, Feb. 5, 2015.

A Detroit-area man who had said he walked 21 miles a day to and from work is finding life is much easier about a year after receiving a new car and a windfall of donations, but the downside to that generosity is that he has put on weight.

The Detroit Free Press reported last year about James Robertson's daily trek to the factory where he worked in Rochester Hills. Shortly thereafter, donors gave Robertson the car and roughly $360,000. He moved from Detroit to suburban Troy.

"People ask me why I still work. I don't change that for no one," he told the newspaper.

Now it takes the 57-year-old about 12 minutes to drive to work. The newspaper reported Sunday that the new situation hasn't rid 57-year-old Robinson of all of life's problems. He still needs to find new friends and fit into a new neighborhood, and he wants to lose weight because he is not getting as much exercise as before his good fortune.

Robertson said he isn't likely to retire anytime soon, in part because he prizes his friendships at work.

Each weekday, and lately on many Saturdays, Robertson makes the trip to his job at Schain Mold & Engineering, where he operates an injection-molding machine. But instead of needing five hours of walking and bus riding to get there, he can get to work by car swiftly.

"His attendance has never faltered, not one day," plant manager Todd Wilson said recently. "That money, none of it changed him one bit. James is still one of the most loving, caring people I know."

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