COLUMN: Retirement home offers blessings

Farm Forum

We have an old, very good friend of nearly 50 years who resides at the Eastern Star retirement home in Redfield. We went there to see our old friend, Dr. Ed Perry. Doc was a fellow old pilot, thus birds of a feather flock together. We both used to own Piper Cubs, so we could talk forever about our days of glory spending time above the earth in our beloved old Piper Cubs. Mine was the J-3 version, while Doc’s was a World War II vintage L-4, but both birds were made by Piper a very long time ago. In fact, Doc’s bird is still in his family and is now owned by his daughter, Martha, who lives in North Pole, Alaska. She has his old Cub outfitted with floats now.

The Eastern Star is a class place for sure. The staff at this amazing institution are just delightful and are absolutely dedicated to the well-being of their residents. We dined with Doc, and the food was just scrumptious.

Doc is a collector, and he has large volumes of a very newsy newspaper dating way back to 1906 and printed in Ashton. It was amusing to remember that 1906 was before electricity and automobiles. At least there was no sign of these conveniences and conveyances. No ads for anything related to automobiles or associated paraphernalia.

The facility there in Redfield must stand out as an example of how retirement homes should be. There is everything needed to keep aging a pleasant moment in the lives of their residents.

It progresses from independent living to assisted living to nursing home help. Then in the same block is the Redfield Hospital so everything that is required to tend to the aging population is right there all together. How convenient is that, huh?

There is a garden outside the dining room, and it is just festooned with produce. The tomato plants were bearing giant produce, and pepper vines bore myriad fruit.

It is very comforting to us, Dr. Perry’s good friends, to see him so comfortable and enjoying those twilight years and to see him so happy with his lot in life. It is a rite of passage to become elderly, and, sometimes, not-so-good events accompany this part of life’s ending.

However, institutions such as Eastern Star certainly do make the best of a situation we might all find ourselves in sooner or later.

Sadly, Dr. Perry lost the love his life, Betty, a few years back, and Betty and Doctor Ed were a professional couple who were exemplary in their chosen occupations of medicine. Betty was a reputable heart specialist and was responsible for saving many a personality with her expertise in assisting those who are needy and appreciate help in their everyday living experiences.

It is heartening to be aware that such caring, loving facilities are prevalent in our area. Of course, there are other institutions around our community that are just as exemplary as Eastern Star, and we pick out this facility just because a beloved friend is being cared for there with the utmost expertise. Thank the good Lord that our society was innovative enough to create this compliment to serve humanity.

Nuff Said.

Gerald “Jerry” Krueger is a retired educator, coach, commercial pilot and farmer. Write him at His column publishes Mondays.