73 years ago on Wednesday, October 25, Glenn Huffman was in the water! Glenn was 18 when he received his draft notice. When he went for the draft they said they needed men in all three branches. When he was standing in line at the draft, there was a guy behind him that said, “I’m going to the Navy if I can, because I would rather ride than walk” & Glenn said “Buddy, I’m with you!” The two of them went into the Navy. But Glenn never saw that guy again, “I went one way, he went another.” Glenn was shipped to Galveston to pick up a brand new ship built in Houston by the Brown Shipbuilding Co. The first piece of metal laid down on that ship was on his birthday, December 6, 1943. “It & I had the same birthday as far as I was concerned.” It was called USS Samuel B. Roberts. Following a shakedown cruise off Bermuda from May 21 to June 19 and availability at Boston Navy Yard, Samuel B. Roberts, departed from Norfolk on July 22, 1944 and transited the Panama Canal on July 27th to join the Pacific Fleet. After arriving at Pearl Harbor on August 10, they conducted training exercises and escorted several convoys to Eniwetok. They proceeded to Manus Island where they joined another Task Unit, then steamed for the Leyte Gulf area and commenced operations with the Northern Air Support Group off Samar. Shortly after dawn on October 25th, they were protecting American escort carriers off Samar, when a Japanese task force suddenly appeared on the horizon and opened fire. After joining in a daring torpedo attack on the Japanese cruisers and scoring a torpedo hit on one and at least 40 gunfire hits on a second the Samuel B Roberts was hit by a salvo of 14” shells which tore a hole-40-feet long and 10 feet wide in the port side of the number 2 engine room. The ship was abandoned and soon sank. Glenn was training to be a radar officer. From where he had stood, he had told himself, if I ever have to jump ship he was going over the railing. On that October 25th day he was told to abandon ship, the others went lower, Glenn jumped over the railing and swam away from the ship as they had been instructed to. Once in the water, he met up with other men with a life raft. The injured men were put in the raft and the rest of the men hung on. Three days later, Glenn and the rest of the men were rescued. Glenn said “during battle I wasn’t nearly as scared as I was when I was in the water.” The 120 survivors clung to 3 life rafts for 50 hours before being rescued. 90 of the crew were killed or lost in action. In 1950 Glenn got married. They had one son. He didn’t talk about the war for 50 years. It just so happened when he and his wife were on vacation in Texas, they went to a war museum. There was a picture he recognized and said something to a women he mistakenly thought was his wife. As it turns out the lady worked for the museum. She asked him if he was a veteran and would he please sign in downstairs. This simple error opened up a whole new world for Glenn. Since that experience he has been receiving correspondence from other war veterans that he knew on the USS Samuel B. Roberts. They started a reunion in 1982. “It’s surprising how much you forget.” Today … there are only 2 of us left. What a wonderful piece of history Glenn has for us and is willing to share. We are so grateful to have Glenn and his wonderful wife JoAnn as part of our CCWH family.
Lawrence Smith, our Employee of the month for November, has worked for Country Club for about 15 months. He is always willing to give a helping hand.
Lawrence has lived in the Tulsa area for all his life. He loves his community and all it has to offer: local restaurants, rich history, and of course, Krispy Kreme donuts. In his pastime, he enjoys going to flea markets and preserving an era of gospel music that will soon be forgotten. He remasters tapes from the “good ol’ days” onto CDs to save the recordings from getting lost forever.
Lawrence says he likes working with his wonderful co-workers, and even more than that, he loves seeing the residents smile every day. Lawrence shares, “I’m going to get a smile out of a resident one way or another. Please don’t force me to tell a corny joke!”
Thank you, Lawrence, for all that you do!
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When a family member’s health is failing, the caregivers who step in to help out are truly the unsung heroes. Tending to a family member’s needs requires a lot of time, patience, and hard work on top of a normally already-busy schedule. In fact, seniorlivingmag.com reported that family members typically provide upwards of 80% of the care required in many cases. In addition, 20% of caregivers are spending more than 10 hours every week with caregiving tasks. While motivated by love, caregiving can easily become overwhelming and stressful, while also being incredibly fulfilling. Family caregivers provide loving support at a time when their loved ones most need it, and they are the underappreciated heroes working behind the scenes to make sure their loved ones are happy, healthy, and loved. And while family caretakers are a vital part of senior care, it is also important to know when to ask for help. Here are some of the main areas in which caretakers provide support, including when to consider additional help, thanks to seniorliving.com.
- Security - Is my family member at risk in their current living space? Is emergency help readily accessible should I be unable to help? Is there a risk of falling down? Is there a risk of crime?
- Housekeeping - What are my loved one’s abilities or limitations in regards to keeping up with the cleanliness of their living space? What are the limitations in regards to preparing food?
- Personal hygiene - Is my loved one easily able to maintain their personal hygiene? If not, how much time is required daily to help them? Is a home health aide necessary to help my loved one keep up their personal hygiene?
- Transportation - If my family member is unable to drive, how often am I able to take them to appointments and to run errands? If I am unable to, is there an additional support system who could help?
- Medical needs - Does my loved one need any additional nursing care at home that I am unable to provide? Can they administer their own medication, or do they need help?
- Social needs - Is my family member lonely? Are they content with the amount of time they spend with family or friends, or do they need more time spent in social situations?
Caregivers, it is not unloving or otherwise a negative thing to ask for help in caring for a loved one. While caregiving is a bonding experience which can bring one closer with their loved ones, there are always limitations to what we can reasonably do. Remember that stress can negatively affect your life and others’, and do not hesitate when you believe that the care needed by your loved one is beyond what you yourself can handle. Retirement living at Country Club is a caring community of like-minded people surrounded by supportive staff. You want the best for your loved one, and so do we.
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Jack Wells was born in Hennessey, Oklahoma in December of 1926. He graduated in Hennessey from high school in 1944, lettering in baseball and football. He also worked delivering newspapers and as a projectionist at the local movie theater.
After graduating high school Jack enlisted into the Navy. He served 21 months as an Electrician’s Mate and an instructor at naval stations in San Diego and Treasure Island. After the Navy, he returned to Oklahoma and attended Oklahoma A & M (now OSU) receiving a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1950.
Along the way Jack married Barbara Martin and they settled in Tulsa. Jack and Barbara have four children, seven grandchildren, and seven great-grand-children. Jack worked as an electrical design engineer for a utility company and then moved up to Vice President, Power Engineering and Construction. In 1976, he was promoted to Senior Vice President in charge of setting up and supervising central engineering departments for four utility companies in the Dallas area. After over forty years with the company he retired and moved back to Tulsa.
Jack is known around Country Club as the go-to Astronomer. Jack has been fascinated with Astronomy since he took college physics, which led him to join a group of international Eclipse Chasers. Eclipse Chasers are people who plan their vacations around the best places to witness a full eclipse. If you have listened to Jack’s presentation, you know what an eclipse is an anomaly that occurs when the sun, earth and moon align in a way that one blocks another from sight. From our perspective, the moon may appear to be the exact same size as the sun while in actuality the sun is about 400 times bigger than the moon. It is also about 400 times further away. When the sun and moon align, the moon appears to block out the sun and this is known as a solar eclipse.
After college, Jack saved every penny he could and patiently waited for a full eclipse within the United States. He got his first opportunity in 1954, when he discovered that the next full eclipse would occur in Wisconsin. Jack packed up his wife and three little girls in their 1946 Buick and went first of many excursions to witness this phenomenon. What he experienced there moved him beyond words. “The unfolding of this is indescribable”, he said. “People all around you are oohing and ahhing…they’re just as stirred as I am”.
Jack had to take a hiatus from this hobby to raise his family. Upon retiring in 1990, Jack and Barbara joined the Eclipse Chasers and have created some of their most memorable memories. They have traveled to some of the most exotic places around the world; South Africa, Australia, India, Egypt, Mexico, Bolivia, China, Hawaii, Aruba and Turkey. Wearing the same lucky hat to all eclipses!
Jack is also active in the restoration of WWII aircrafts, a charter member of several air museums, recently began to guide tours for the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, in addition to being an avid air show fan. A couple days a week, you will find Jack out at the Jenks Airport, restoring vintage WWII airplanes. Jack, along with others like him across the country, are part of the Commemorative Airforce, a group that works to keep history alive by rebuilding the airplanes which helped to defend our freedom back in the 40’s.
If you see Jack around, stop and visit with him… he has lots of wonderful stories to share. We are so glad to have Jack and Barbara as part of our CCWH family.
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Congratulations to Nellie Amparan, our Employee of the month for October! Nellie has worked for Country Club in the dining room for five years. Originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, Nellie moved to Texas and then later came to Tulsa. Working at Country Club has been her only job since moving to Tulsa, and Nellie says she really enjoys her job here and she especially enjoys working with the residents. In her free time, Nellie enjoys going to the casino. Nellie’s supervisor shares that Nellie is an essential part of the training program implemented for the department.
Nellie is a valuable part of our staff and the service that we provide in our dining room.
Nellie is a true blessing to CCWH! Thank you for all you do, Nellie!
As we grow older, our health is a constant topic of conversations. Eating healthier, getting regular exercise and keeping up with necessary doctor’s appointments are all an important part of being healthy, but what about making sure your mind is healthy? Regular mental stimulation can help keep your mind sharp and on top of things. So what are some brain exercises you can do? Here is our list of some activities to try in order to keep you brain in tip-top shape thanks to seniorlivingmag.com
- Dancing. Break out your boogie shoes! Dancing regularly, especially organized dancing such as ballroom dancing, line dancing, or swing dancing can possibly reduce the risk of developing diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia by 76 percent!
- Music. Remember being forced to practice the piano when you were a child? It turns out that playing an instrument can play an important part in building up your brain strength. Even listening to music has been shown to strengthen the brain. Break out your favorite old songs, or, even better, the old guitar or piano and practice, and even if it doesn’t sound great, you’ll still be doing your mind a favor.
- Puzzles. Crossword puzzles, sudoku, and jigsaw puzzles are more than just a lovely way to spend an easy Sunday morning… they also stimulate your mental abilities to be a better problem solver! You can even start with the easy puzzles and work your way up… brain exercise does not always come easily.
There are many factors that go into making sure your mental faculties are strong – these practices are only a small part. But why not begin by making a change today? You may find yourself thankful for it in a few years. Some of the other factors that lead to a healthy mind is a commitment to good nutrition, regular positive social interactions, and a safe environment… all of which can be found at Country Club of Woodland Hills retirement community! Take a tour today of our beautiful community and see how we can help you improve your retirement living. Contact us here or visiting our website at ccwh-living.com
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Through determination you can accomplish anything, is Florene Hachenberg’s motto! Having gone through a stroke a few years back, she has made a nice recovery. Doing chair yoga several times a week, Florene has seen some body improvement and plans to continue.
Florene was born at home on January 1, 1928, in the small town of Goltry, Oklahoma. She has an older brother and sister. Florene graduate from high school in Goltry, then went on to Alva to what was then known as the teachers’ college. She majored in home economics and minored in physical education. When Florene was a junior, she met her soon to be husband. They were married the next year. Because he had just returned from the service, he was one year behind her in college. Florene found her first teaching job in Cherokee, teaching the 4th grade while he finished college. Once college was over for her husband, they moved on to Kansas for better paying teaching jobs. Florene taught at Liberal, Kansas for 11 years until her husband was transferred to the Kansas City area. She then taught 1st grade in Olathe for 10 years until she retired. During that time, they started a family, having one daughter.
Florene and her husband were also very active with a travel group. She always told her husband that she didn’t want to go to other countries, because there was plenty to see right here. In her apartment at CCWH, she has a small picture of the USA with stars on it. The stars represent the places where they have been, not in a car but in their travel trailer. She said that when looking to the top of Rocky Mountain State Park, you can see horses grazing. When her daughter was small, before she was in school, Florene had pointed out the horses and said one day she wanted to walk that trail. When her daughter was a senior in high school, she was in the Liberal High School Band. Florene decided to build up her walking strength by practicing with her daughter as she walked for band practice, five miles every night. Florene’s promise to herself, to walk to the top of Rocky Mountain National State Trail, was about to come true! A friend, who they had camped with from the area, walked the trail with Florene and her daughter. They began at 8am on that morning, walked the lower level of the Rocky Mountain National State trail and made it to the top. Her legs didn’t even hurt! Through determination you can accomplish anything.
Florene’s daughter found CCWH for her, and Florene moved into CCWH sight unseen. She feels so comfortable here and is delighted to have someone else cooking for her! Florene expressed how friendly everyone is. She loves it here, and says that this is her home! Florene is a great addition to our CCWH family and we are so glad she has chosen to make Country Club her community!