|George Dunn gives Trudy Andrews a high five at the Cottages of Green Valley. Dunn turns 100 on Tuesday, Dec. 7.
HENDERSON, Nev. -- 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.
On Dec. 7, Dunn will turn 100 – and he is not slowing down one bit either. A birthday party with a patriotic theme will be held at the Cottages beginning at 2 p.m. on Pearl Harbor Day.
“George is so very patriotic and for his birthday we’re going to have a patriotic theme,” said Trudy Andrews, Cottages administrator. “We’re going to have Boy Scouts and several singing groups will also perform.”
In almost six years of service with the Cottages, Andrews said Dunn has not slowed much in the past few years. In fact, he only started using a walker about a year ago.
“George doesn’t know that he is no longer 39,” laughed Andrews. “He continues to be more active at the age of 100 than many people 40 years younger.”
Dunn seems to take his accomplishments and outlook on life in a matter-of-fact way.
“Years ago I learned to play the guitar, but forgot how to play it,” said the native of Buffalo, N.Y. “I learned again a couple of years ago. 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 also 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 explained. “She was always climbing.”
Additionally, his poetry has been featured in the Cottages poetry club by Cottages Activity Director Yvonne Brink.
Dunn finds the outdoors fascinating especially for taking photos.
“For instance, I have taken pictures of trees at Yosemite,” he once 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 for Dunn is his incredible attitude and 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 the past, Dunn has also practiced Tai Chi.
Dunn lauds the Cottages, where he has lived for about four years.
"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 was been chosen the Cottages Resident of the Month for February. He remains one of the all-time great stories at the Cottages.
“Once you meet George Dunn, you’ll never forget him,” added Andrews.
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.
The Cottages is now offering free in-home assessments.