Art of the happy meal: 88-year-old McDonald's worker serves up smiles

Art of the happy meal: 88-year-old McDonald's worker serves up smiles

An 88-year-old worker at a McDonald's drive-thru in Minnesota has been serving up smiles for nearly 30 years. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

WAYZATA, Minn — Patrons of a Minneapolis-area McDonald’s know that when it comes to delivering smiles, an 88-year-old drive-thru worker knows the art of a happy meal.

Art Mason sits on his stool at the Wayzata McDonald's, takes orders and shares good cheer, KARE reported.

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“I love Art, Art's awesome. Yay, Art!” Amy Little told the television station.

"He is just the sweetest, sweetest guy," Melissa Wildermuth, another customer, told KARE. "So happy, so happy, like every day's a great new day for him."

Mason retired from his factory job nearly 30 years ago, but he found the idle time unnerving.

"It was good -- for three months," Mason told KARE. "Then, I was bored to death."

So, when the manager at the Wayzata McDonald’s approached Mason and asked if he could fill in at his short-staffed restaurant for two weeks, he agreed.

That was 29 years ago.

“Twenty-nine years, and I'll be 89 in May,” Mason told the television station.

In fact, Mason outlasted the manager who hired him, the employees at the restaurant and even the franchise owner, KARE reported.

Mason has been a fixture at the drive-thru, wearing his baseball cap and showing off his pin collection, but he said it is time to head back into retirement.

“Yeah, I'm planning on leaving the 10th, May 10,” Mason said, noting that it is two days before his 89th birthday.

That is, Mason said, with a smile, “If I make it that far.”