Friday, April 19, 2013

Client Profiles: Eudora Pierson

"They care. They give me attention. They come on time"

That’s how Eudora Pierson describes Red Cross transportation services volunteers, a handful of whom ensure that she gets to the grocery store every Thursday and to doctor appointments, eye exams, and other critical services monthly.

The transportation services the Red Cross provides Eudora not only fulfill a critical transportation gap –– she relies on a walker and no longer drives ––they also offer friendship and community.  At her recent 101st birthday bash, volunteers brought Eudora cards, flowers, and a memento from her favorite aisle in the oft-visited grocery store, “the aisle with the pickles and the condiments,” says Eudora, with a laugh. “And the party, it was quite a big shinding!”

Eudora likes to say that she’s “just an ordinary citizen,” but has accomplished a lot in her 101 years.  She grew up in Kentucky and Tennessee, then entered Transylvania College, a liberal arts college in Lexington, back in 1934, a time when “you could fit all of us (students) on the steps of the main building.” She didn’t graduate– money was scarce, and left to work in banking and insurance. 

During WWII, Eudora entered the Naval Reserves and was on active duty for five years, ultimately earning the title of Lieutenant.  She traveled all around the country, to Norfolk, Key West, Pensacola, and San Francisco. Some of her favorite recollections remain from those years.

“Getting to San Francisco was the best. We got off the train in Santa Fe to buy Indian artifacts –– and it started to take off! We had to run after it. We almost got left. And San Francisco – well, I thought it was just wonderful.  All the little trolley cars going up the hill; most of the time you were just barely hanging on. I loved it.“

After her service was over, Eudora got married and moved to a ranch in Weld County, Colorado.  She ranched turkeys for three years, then moved to Commerce City, where she still lives with her son. Asked about the secret to her old age, Eudora replied, “I’m not sure. Just live every day, I guess! I didn’t ever dream I would live to be 100. I think it must be some gene.  I don’t eat healthy foods, really; I live on fried chicken and potatoes! I still say I’m just a housewife – an ordinary citizen.”

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