Last Friday, a centenarian World War II veteran hailing from West Virginia commemorated his 100th birthday in the warm embrace of McDonald’s.
For 36 years, Zan White has been faithfully starting his day with breakfast at the Elkins McDonald’s. He’s the mastermind behind the ROMEO Club (Retired Old Men Eating Out), where he and his dozen friends regularly gather for good food and great company. It’s like a breakfast club, but with a twist of wit and a side of golden arches.
Given the abundance of captivating tales, it comes as no surprise that the ROMEO Club enjoys immense popularity. “I was in Manilla Bay [Philippines] when the war ended. My ship headed for Tokyo. Another guy and I were taking some examinations for a warrant officer so they left us there and our ship went on. So we had to hitchhike from Manilla to Tokyo on airplanes,” White told WDTV.
However, Zan White doesn’t rely on his thumb to visit his friends at McDonald’s. He recently renewed his driver’s license.
Along With His McDonald’s Birthday Breakfast, White Was Ticketed for ‘100 Years of Reckless Driving’
In addition to receiving cake and presents, Zan was issued a ticket for 100 years of reckless driving by the local County Sheriff. The citation was accompanied by a plaque. Governor Justice also sent him a letter, while Mayor Jerry Marco declared it as Zan White Day in the city and expressed his interest in joining the ROMEO Club.
“I asked him what the secret was. He just grinned at me so I hope that means I have to smile a lot! So congratulations to Mr. White he’s a tremendous citizen that we have and we’re honored to have him,” Marco said.
Marc Godwin, a McDonald’s area supervisor, was happy to see White celebrate his 100th birthday there. “I’ve seen Zan every morning pretty much for the 24 years I’ve been working. It’s a joy to see him every morning, it’s one of the highlights of my day,” Godwin said.
However, Godwin firmly believes that Zan’s longevity can be attributed to the restaurant. “It’s definitely coming to McDonald’s every morning and having McDonald’s coffee,” Godwin quipped.
White informed the station that although he was unsure of the reason behind his longevity, he had no intentions of altering his McDonald’s habits as he aged. “I’ve been coming here for 36 years; I can’t stop now,” White said.
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