Monday, September 01, 2014

1984 Senior Village Newsletter Vol. I, No.6 Aug. Interview with Roberta

The 15-page August 1984 edition of the Senior Village newsletter, "News and Views," features a two page interview with our very own family member, Roberta Uible-King Walgren.  At the time this interview was written Roberta was newly married (Dec. 1983) to Sid.  In addition to the interview, the newsletter includes other subjects of interest to the Senior Village residents, family and friends.

The interview is scanned and transcribed below.
1984 Senior Village Newsletter Vol. I, No.6 Aug. 1984 Interview with Roberta p.1

1984 Senior Village Newsletter Vol. I, No.6 Aug. 1984 Interview with Roberta p.2


EUNICE:  As the beloved supervisor of our Senior Village, I know the residents are all very curious about your background.  All of us were so happy to share your wedding, when you did not change your name, but added to it, to become ROBERTA UIBLE-KING.  We have wondered how a person of your tender years could have travelled so extensively, worked at so many different jobs, and have acquired so many different talents all in such a short time.  Could you please enlighten us as to your secret of accomplishing so much in so few years.  Or, is it possible you have really sipped from the fountain of youth (since I noted you have lived in Florida) and are really many years older.

ROBERTA: I was born May 14th in a small farming community in Southern Ohio.  It was so long ago that I've forgotten the exact year.  My grandfather Uible started a toy factory about the time I was born.  My father is still very active in the business.  The factory is only one in the world that continutes [sic] to make metal jacks, for the game of jacks that is played with a ball.  I'm sure many Senior Village residents have played jacks.

I was the second child of five--four girls and one boy.  I went to grade school and graduated from high school near my hometown of New Vienna, Ohio.  I did have the experience of going to a Quaker Boarding School at Barnesville, Ohio for a year and a half.  My Mother is a librarian so we were always encourage to read.

I worked for a year as a mill-machine operator at National Cash Register in Dayton Ohio before I was ready to go to college.  My first year I attended a small Quaker college in Newberg, Oregon.  The next year I returned to the Midwest attending the University of Cincinnati and eventually receiving an Associate degree in Police Science.

Next I attended Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, where I received a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, with a strong minor in Social Work.  All in all, I spent six years getting a four-year degree!  When in college I had the good fortune of having many pleasurable and interesting jobs ranging from a summer missionary program in British Columbia, Assistant manager of a restaurant, loading trucks for United Parcel Service, to making homemade donuts.  I also did an internship at a juvenile detention center my last year in college.  I quickly learned I had chosen the wrong major and abandoned this line of work.

Almost immediately I secured a job at a summer camp for the elderly near Sparta, New Jersey.  It was owned and operated by Hudson Guild, a Social Service Agency in New York City.  My first summer there I managed the kitchen.  I didn't cook!  I spent the next five summers there; finding out I liked other areas of the camp much better than the kitchen.

I was raised in a family that believed in the joys of travel.  I had a good taste of travel with my family while growing up.  In college I enjoyed very a summer in Europe and a trip to visit my cousin Joe who was in the Peace Corps in Africa.  Anyway, after my first summer at the New Jersey camp I went on a trip I had planned (and save for), a trip to India.  The next six months I spent exploring India and many surrounding countries.  That trip could be a story in itself.

I've been in Arizona since 1977.  The first few years I was almost a Winter visitor.  I continued to work at the Senior Citizen camp during the summer months while holding a variety of jobs during winter.  It took awhile but it finally dawned on me I should be doing year round what I enjoyed doing the most.

In January of 1980 I became the coordinator of the East Mesa Senior Center.  I truly enjoyed that job very much and starting that summer became an Airzonian making it through my first summer.  While at the Senior Center I learned a great deal about needed services for the elderly, one of the major ones being housing.  I could see many elderly people not being able (successfully) to live independently for one reason or another but not needing to be in an institutional setting.

Up until September 1981 I had attended Arizona State University part-time from time to time working on my Masters degree in therapeutic recreation.  I received alot of 'jokes' concerning my choice of majors.  I am a firm believer that it is very important what we do in our leisure time.  We see in today's society real problems of those people who retire and have failed to develop any leisure time activities.

In September of 1981, when I first arrived on Vogel Street, Senior Village was just a row of empty houses.  While still at East Mesa Senior Center I heard people talking about the idea of it, and read about it in the Newspaper.  It seemed like a world away from East Mesa.  I became very excited about being part of that program.  It was very rewarding to see the houses take on "character" as residents began to change them into homes.  Senior Village opened its doors on November 4th, 1981 with 4 residents.

Senior Village has been a great challenge and one that I continually enjoy.  I've enjoyed getting to know the staff, residents, and volunteers that have made it the success it is.

I continue to be very close to my family.  In previous years I have travelled every summer with my grandmother Uible, who just celebrated her 92nd birthday.  Since she is in a wheelchair many people might label her handicapped, but her attitude and spirit overcome her handicap.  Last summer we steamboated down the Mississippi River on the Delta Queen, and we have had many other enjoyable trips to Alaska, Hawaii, and other scenic areas of the United States and Canada.

I enjoy people.  I've always found them fascinating.  My other interests include travel, craft projects, history, and fine food.  I have recently acquired a great interest in both nutrition and exercise.  I'm not a good speller.

My story would not be complete without the mentioning of my marriage to HAYES S. KING (SID) on December 31, 1983.  It was a most happy occasion to have our friends and family here and to have them meet the Senior Village family.  I marvel now at how I ever got along without SID.

EUNICE: ROBERTA, I want to thank you for your lengthy and revealing account of your experiences.  The extensive list of accomplishments and your youthful appearance certainly lead me to believe that you must be either extremely efficient in your management of time and a true saint or really have the key to that famed fountain of youth.  Tell me, confidentially, where is it and how about a couple of sips from those magic water.

Now, to be personal you have omitted the most important part of your work and labors.  I am certain there are many, like myself, who have benefited by regaining or improving in health from your encouragement and person interest.  I shall be eternally grateful for what you have given me.  I love you.  We love you!!

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Items from Uible photo album