Seniors enjoy their day

The four Seniors for a Day were picked randomly, but as they each told their life stories, it became apparent that there was something special about every one of them.

Friday, Douglas County Nevada Triad presented the 10th annual Senior for a Day event. The winners receive lunch at the Country Club Restaurant in Gardnerville, including transportation, a basket full of gifts and a free haircut or styling.

Before receiving their meals each one told a summary of the history of their lives.

John Glenn, 88, told the other winners and the seven members of Triad in attendance how he was a power plant engineer for Howard Hughes in Culver City, Calif., for 25 years. He was one of an 18-member flight crew aboard the "Spruce Goose" for its sole flight. The only other crew member still alive is the flight engineer Don Smith, whom Glenn said ironically also happens to live in the Gardnerville area.

Although Hughes was a hypochondriac - he wouldn't touch a door knob - Glenn said he wouldn't have worked anywhere else.

"The only disadvantage is we only came out at night. We met at night," said Glenn.

Glenn praised Hughes for his work, including founding three medical research organizations.

"He never got credit for what he did," said Glenn. "He was a brilliant man."

Nyle Nation jokingly said he forgot his age about 10 years ago, then admitted he is 86. He was in the U.S. Navy for 22 years. One of the biggest events of his life was when his ship, the Monsen 436, sank in the Guadal Canal during World War II.

"There were 360 aboard and 60 got off," said Nation. "I lost a lot of friends there. We lost seven ships that night and I think (the Japanese) lost the same amount."

Nation went on to work for Harrah's for 15 years, where he was a supervisor until he retired.

Alpha Annett was the "senior" of the group at 99. Her husband was a mining engineer and when he was alive, Annett said, "We saw a great deal of the world."

She lived in Bridgeport, Calif., where they owned Mono Village Summer Resort, until she moved to Merrill Gardens. Age has its benefits, and one is all the memories, according to Annett.

"My grandparents came over in a covered wagon," said Annett, "so I saw all the changes."

The youngster of the group was Jacque Pickett, 76, a former telephone operator who has had multiple sclerosis since 1992. She moved from Arizona to Gardnerville seven years ago to live closer to her daughter.

Pickett said she was surprised when she heard her name was picked for Senior for a Day.

"I was excited," she said. "It was very nice."

This year there were 300 nominations received for Senior of the Day from Douglas County Senior Center, Merrill Gardens and Carson Valley Residential Care Center. Senior for a Day is offered to four winners, two women and two men. Only seniors 65 or older are eligible.

"We tell everyone," said Triad president Samantha Heers. "They all get put in the hat and we pick them."

Douglas County Nevada Triad, a national organization, consists of the sheriff's department, East Fork Fire and Paramedics and firefighters and Douglas County Senior Services, as well as other organizations including the Nevada Division of Aging Services, senior volunteers and Douglas County Ministerial. The Triad motto reads, "Committed to Enhancing the Quality of Life for our Senior Citizens."

"It's a very good organization," said board member and Senior for a Day coordinator Paul Lockwood. "Our goal is to do whatever we can for seniors in Douglas County."

Lockwood is also the president of Young at Heart and the vice president of the senior board.

Along with Senior for a Day, Douglas County Nevada Triad organizes other yearly events, which include the seniors attending the sheriff's academy and meeting the volunteers; a senior forum every November where seniors are treated to dinner and an educational lecture; and the First Alert program, which calls 200 seniors every day, and if one is unable to be reached, a sheriff is sent over to check on them.

For more information on Senior for a Day or other programs, contact Paul Lockwood at 782-6583.


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