Our Senior of the Month for August is Larry Baldridge! He is the manager for Food and Friends that serves meals from the Eagle Point Senior Center every weekday all year long. They will be serving nearly 10,000 meals per year out of the Senior Center and we are certainly glad that Larry is heading up this worthwhile project.
Larry was born in Van Nuys, California, in 1948. He comes from a family with two children, Larry and his brother. Sadly his brother died 18 years ago and Larry misses him even today.
Larry has been married twice and had four sons from those marriages who range in age from 25 years to 43 years. Larry started work in electronics for Boeing Aircraft in 1969 in Seattle. He moved to the Rogue Valley in 1976 and worked in the timber industry for 31 years.
When we asked Larry about the most interesting thing that ever happened to him, he couldn’t name any single incident. He said, “There are too many interesting things to mention. I have had a very interesting life!”
When asked about the difficulties he has faced he referred to what he called “The bad year” about 18 years ago. Everything came at once. The company that he worked for shut down after 21 years. His wife of 16 years left, leaving him a single parent raising two young children aged 5 and 8. He home schooled one of his boys while working graveyard shift trying to make ends meet. And that was the year he lost his best friend, his brother. Any one of those things would have been bad enough but to have them all come at once was overwhelming. But Larry got through “the bad year” and we at the Senior Center are glad he made it.
Larry raced sailboats and was part of the Rogue Yacht Club. Their races took place as Howard Prairie Lake. He loved that and found it to be lots of fun. He also loves his HAM radio and has been licensed for 30 years. Larry says it is like a “world wide phone book”. You can find him listed if you go to QRZ.com on the internet and put in his call letters, KB7RHS.
Larry considers his biggest accomplishment his four boys. He says that he loves and is proud of every one of them even when they get on his nerves!
Larry always tries to encourage young people to go to college. He puts a lot of stock in an education. He says to them, “Don’t drop out of school.” He also says one should maintain your relationships as friendships are crucial and fellowship is vital. “In the end, our friends are all we have” Larry says.
When asked what he looks forward to Larry said “My goal is a 1000 pound per year specialty garlic crop!” He loves his job with Food and Friends. “It is a perfect little retirement job because I love being around people!”