At 97, George Dunn is a very active resident of the Cottages of Green Valley with a schedule that includes writing poetry, exercising and playing the guitar. He might be termed the motivational expert of the Cottages.
“Years ago I learned to play the guitar, but forgot how to play it,” said the native of Buffalo, N.Y. “I’m learning again, but it’s not coming too good. I just play it now because it’s a nice sound. I have an acoustic guitar. I like any kind of music.”
Dunn especially likes the music of Roy Clark and Eddy Arnold.
A former draftsman in a war plant that made fighter planes, Dunn likes to write any kind of poetry. Most of his poems are written about the outdoors.
“I usually accompany my poems with a picture,” he said. “I take about a roll of pictures a week. I pick out a good photo and then write a poem about it.”
In addition, Dunn wrote a poem in honor of a dentist he saw once. He admired the dentist, who took vacations and took pictures of mountains.
“She was always trying to get more out of life,” he said. “She was always climbing.”
Additionally, his poetry is featured by activity director Victoria Adams in the Cottages poetry club.
Dunn finds the outdoors fascinating especially for taking photos.
“For instance, I have taken pictures of trees at Yosemite,” he said. “It’s amazing to me how old the trees are. When you think that the trees are over 500 years old and that they are so massive that a person could fit into one of the grooves of the bark, it’s amazing. Some of them are 22 to 23 feet in diameter.
“They’re out of this world. When you go into these trees, it’s like going into a tomb because it’s so quiet. The air seems to grab you some way. Right away you get a humble feeling that you’re so inconsequential.”
The key to Dunn’s incredible attitude he said is his willingness to give others encouragement.
“I exercise a lot,” he said, “and walk about a mile a day in the Cottages’ gardens,” he said. “You have to keep moving and I try to help people, if I can. People need help, they need a hug. When you see someone walking along, you should tap them on the shoulder or give them a hug. It’s just a shot in the arm for them.”
In addition, Dunn practices tai chi, an ancient form of Chinese exercise.
“No one knows what tomorrow is going to bring,” he said. “You only have the last tick, and it’s done.”
Dunn lauds the Cottages, where he has lived for about a year.
“I don’t know where I could be happier,” he said. “The food is good, and you can pick your buddies. This is Utopia. They have the facilities, the activities and they certainly have good care. The quarters are very good and they provide such beautiful views.”
Dunn has been chosen the Cottages Resident of the Month for February.
At Cottages of Green Valley, residents eat with others who live in the same cottage, which has no more than 12 residents.
Each resident is provided meals three times a day. A higher caregiver ratio ensures attention for residents, who average 83.5 years of age.
Additionally, the Cottages have two activity directors for a community of about 100 residents. The community, which opened in 2002, has one Easy Care cottage, three assisted living cottages and five memory care cottages.
Further information may be obtained by visiting the Cottages of Green Valley at 2620 Robindale Road., in Henderson from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. every day.
Scheduled evening tours are also available by calling 992-0000.
Additional information is also available on the Internet at CottagesGV.com.