Working as an electrician in Tennessee was something that grew old for Charles Armistead Reeves. This prompted him to travel from Tennessee to Hawaii in search of work and new experiences. Here is where he met Rose Lokalia Miguel in the 1900s. The two married in 1902, having nine children together.
In this 15:17 minute podcast, Covid-19 through Older Eyes, three people from the local community: Erny (67), Anna (72), and Judy (70s) share their experience. They explain making changes in their lives to stay safer, working at Walmart and Door-Dash, missing spending time with friends, and care-giving elders themselves through the pandemic.
While to some, the pandemic is an inconvenience or something that others need to worry about, many over the age of 55 are worried about their heath and have made changes to prevent getting Covid-19. This is why their perspectives and what they are going though is so important. We all have family, friends, neighbors who are older and for some of them, it has been life threatening.
Their perspectives matter. Understanding their experiences can help others feel connected and have a better understanding of what the pandemic has been like for older generations.
Podcast by Susan Stewart
COVID-19 has forced us into a new world. We all knew that technology was going to play a big part of our lives in the near future, but no one expected it to happen so suddenly. It has become the new normal to integrate technology into milestone events, such as graduation, weddings, funerals, and so much more. One thing that greatly affected me is my eighteenth birthday.
When I used to think of things like the Dust Bowl, Dr. Pepper, or rock hounding, I did not feel any sense of significance or connection to them, but after interviewing my grandfather, I became a lot more interested in all three. While he is not my biological grandfather, I have grown up knowing Rod Reber as my grandpa, or papa, all my life, and it was fascinating to learn so much more about him. There are a lot of differences between his generation and mine, but in each of his stories and responses to my questions, I found some way of relating them back to my life.
I was born in Redding, California. Redding is a small town. It’s the kind of small town that even if it grows, it maintains that small town feel. I always thought of Redding as being small of mind as well. There is not a lot of diversity in Redding, and there is still a lot of racism. There is also a lot of poverty. Though I didn’t live there long, my grandparents have always been in Redding, and I’ve seen them like a beacon of light in the small town.
My grandmother speaks vividly of life’s adventures, recounting details most lose with age—styles of brothers’ shorts, colors of Easter hats and childhood prayers recited in front of the fireplace. She recalls in similar sentiment the gentleness of her mother’s fingers knitting Christmas presents for 12 children and the clammy hands that clutched her small arms as Axis bombers flew overhead. A childhood lived, in part, under the dining room table and school desks, learning to hide from the worst. For all tragedy of WWII, my grandmother adored the American soldiers who shared chewing gum and oranges with the children of her rural British town. Now, 80 years later and decidedly settled in Northern California, she leaned back on her floral couch and shared stories of youth—of younger years tinged with travel, chance love and unlooked for peace.
The following is a sestina for grandmother April Pamela Moore (December 21, 1947-September 5, 2015), written by Sierra College student Brooklyn Shinabargar (Nisenan/Washoe) in English 20 with professor Barbara Nelson-Burns. Moore was a Sierra College alumni and granddaughter, Shinabargar is the president of the Native American & Pacific Islander Student Club.
You are the woman people admire,
The energy flows through your dance.
Shells and beads twinkle with you,
The ground trembles from your strength,
Still wind makes the moment last.
Proud to be yours, proud of your pride.