Consider conductor Leonard Slatkin, who hasn't missed a rehearsal or performance with the St. Louis Symphony in 16 years. Or John Nauart, never out sick in 25 years as a truck mechanic at the Oberweis Dairy in Aurora, Ill. A record? Nowhere near. On these pages are six people whose unbroken string of workdays—never calling in sick, never taking a day beyond their vacations, not even to sneak off to a ballgame—started before Ripken was born 35 years ago.
How do they do it? Well, like Cal, they not only love to work, but they figure getting there is part of the bargain. "The day I call in," says newspaper proofreader Audrey Stubbart, "I won't be sick—I'll be dead."