I Love Lucy

"You watch what you say now," said Lucy Sanchez, a resident of Carson Valley Residential Care Center in the Gardnerville Ranchos, warning her boyfriend that the press is there.

"It's too late," said Bert Anderson, with a smile on his face.

This was my introduction to Sanchez and Anderson. Sanchez just turned 95 in February and Anderson will quickly follow in June.

"I'm with an older woman," said Anderson, teasingly.

Anderson just came to the residential care center about six months ago because his son lives in Gardnerville, and he was very unhappy at first. He had left his apartment in Brooklyn, N.Y., his birthplace, and still speaks fondly of it.

"He went through quite a depression until he met Lucy," said resident coordinator Paula Freud.

"I met this lady here, and it's real nice," said Anderson, sitting next to Sanchez on a bench in the care center lobby.

The romance bloomed, and the couple discovered they both love dancing. Sanchez said she only tripped once while dancing, and it was probably because Anderson's foot got in the way.

"I get blamed for everything," he said.

Anderson and Sanchez, of course, led lives before they met. Anderson was a mechanic and Sanchez worked as a receptionist in a chiropractor's office. Sanchez was born in Spain, but migrated with her family to the U.S. in 1913, when she was 2. Since then she has visited Spain twice. She grew up in San Francisco and now has one son, who lives at Lake Tahoe. Ironically, both their sons' names are Bob. Sanchez has two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Anderson has three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

After Sanchez' marriage ended, she never remarried and Anderson went through a very difficult time when his wife, Evelyn, came down with Parkinson's disease and eventually died.

About six weeks ago, a smitten Anderson proposed marriage to Sanchez, but she hasn't yet said yes.

"We're too old to get married," said Sanchez.

"That's the only reason she doesn't want to get married - we're too old. Can you imagine that?" asked Anderson, then he agreed, "We're having too much fun to get married."

"We see each other all the time. What's the difference?" asked Sanchez.

Anderson laughed. "Well, if you get pregnant, we'll get married," he said.

Sanchez and Anderson both look pretty spry for living more than nine decades.

"I'm healthy, are you?" Sanchez asked Anderson.

"Yeah," he said.

"As long as you have your health, you're all right," she said.

n Jo Rafferty can be reached at jrafferty@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 210.


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