February photo features lifelong traveler

Senior Center News
Thursday, February 21, 2019
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Velma Gentry

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The February Photo of the Month features Velma Gentry. She is a lifelong traveler, always ready for an adventure. She belongs to the aptly named Global Grannies as well as Eastern Star and the Red Hat Society.

This is the story she writes about herself, her family and her many travels.

“I was born on a cold April day in Detroit, Michigan by the shore of Lake Erie. My dad worked in Michigan and had land in Tennessee, so we moved a lot, which was hard on a schoolgirl. From our house, we could see the ice ship break ice on the lake.

“In my teens, we stayed in Tennessee, and grew vegetables and tobacco. All the work was done by hand. We had milk cows and churned butter, picked wild blackberries, made jellies, canned vegetables and meats on the kitchen wood stove.

“In 1962, I came to Hardin to visit my Uncle Dan Ratledge. That is when I met James Gentry. We have two children, Jeffrey and Rebecca. We live on a ranch and raise cattle, grow alfalfa hay and seed and grain. A favorite saddle horse we had was our pet for 32 years, along with cats and dogs. I sewed a lot of our clothing and made quilts to keep us warm and cooked three meals a day.

“My husband, James, passed away in 2008. Life has changed.

“In the fall of the year, we take a family trip to Yellowstone or Glacier, the Black Hills of South Dakota, or take a train trip back east to see family and the Nashville Grande Ole Opry, or drive to Oregon to visit family. I’ve enjoyed standing next to the giant redwood trees. An impressive sight is the Boeing Aircraft assembly building. The Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Parkway have awesome colors in the fall. Dollywood has outstanding shows.

“In 2004, we went to Washington, D.C. for the World War II Memorial dedication.

Now I go to Arizona twice a year to visit daughter Rebecca. We go to the Grand Canyon and to Sedona with all the red rock formations, and view the gorgeous sunsets and miles of saguaro cactus.

“In 2018, I enjoyed my Mother’s Day dinner aboard the Queen Mary ship, with a week of fun in San Diego. In September, I was off to Ireland for a two-week motor coach tour. I stayed in castles, saw traditional Irish shows, cathedrals, the Giant’s Causeway, the Titanic shipyard, the Newgrange 5,000-yearold burial tomb and huge hexagonal rocks.

“I viewed the Book of Kells, which is the first four books of the New Testament, and saw the Irish Connemara marble and Belleek china. During the farmhouse visits, they served tea and scones. The turf was used dry for wood. The blue smoke from the turf smells like a fine cigar. I came home with Irish Tweeds, having visited many woolen markets.

“With family, friends and neighbors, we have traveled to Boston, which is full of history. I‘ve seen the powerful Niagra Falls, Disneyland, walked the Golden Gate Bridge and rode the cable cars. The rose gardens in Portland are gorgeous. In Nantucket, they have cobblestone streets and beautiful flowers, and you hear the loud roar of the Atlantic Ocean. In Puducah, Kentucky, the quilts they make are like a painting. The Ohio Amish Country has the best food and fine furniture. The Amish have made a Noah’s Ark replica with that beautiful wood that is very impressive.

“A most beautiful sight is the Canadian Rocky Mountains, reaching for the Heavens by the light of a full moon.

“One of my favorite things to do is to take a ride on the ranch and have a picnic, take photos of wildlife and flowers, and watch the sunset over the pine trees and watch the full moon come up over the hills.

“But now it’s time to shovel snow. Thank God for this beautiful country.”

I hope you enjoyed this around the world trip through the eyes of Velma Gentry. Stop in at the Senior Center to view her portrait picture, taken by photographer Margaret Arbogast. We are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Our phone number is 406-665-2581.

Hardin Senior Center menu:

Thursday, Feb. 21 – ham and eggs, hashbrowns, fruit
Friday, Feb. 22 – spaghetti, salad, garlic bread, dessert
Monday, Feb. 25 – mac and cheese, brauts, vegetables, dessert
Tuesday, Feb. 26 – chili, cinnamon rolls, cornbread
Wednesday, Feb. 27 – baked potato with broccoli and cheese, vegetables, dessert
Thursday, Feb. 28 – meatloaf, potatoes and gravy, vegetables, dessert

Lodge Grass Senior Center menu:

Friday, Feb. 22 – chicken noodle soup, ham sandwich, mandarin orange salad, dessert
Monday, Feb. 25 – pork roast, au gratin potatoes, beets, roll, Jell-O salad
Wednesday, Feb. 27 – barbecue meatballs, rice, cornbread, green beans, fruit cocktail