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Open house set to celebrate 425 years of wit, wisdom

Some of Estacada's finest seniors are celebrating birthdays this month
by: Gus Jarvis 300 Main residents Sally Garcia, Lily Ann Johnsen, Joanne Akins, Dominic Boyle will be celebrating their birthday at Friday’s open house.

Don't miss the opportunity to meet a handful of Estacada's finest seniors - a total of 425 years of wit and wisdom - on Friday, July 8, at a celebration-of-age open house hosted by 300 Main retirement community.

Resident Manager Linda Forsberg says 300 Main is inviting the public to participate in the event, which will be held from 2-4 p.m. at the senior residence facility where they will observe the birthdays of Lily Ann Johnsen, who turns 104 on July 7, and Sally Garcia, who turns 96 on July 11, as well as the July birthdays of Lorraine Fasciona, Dominic Boyle and Joanne Akins.

'Lily Ann has been here since 1992,' Forsberg says. 'She can tell you everything. She hasn't lost any of her marbles. In fact, none of them have lost their marbles. We've got more marbles here than we know what to do with.'

Johnsen was one of Estacada's original telephone switchboard operators in 1941 before she and her husband went to work for a Ford garage operating in the downtown area. The two set up their own garage and did auto repair work before they retired to spend more time swinging golf clubs. She even hit a hole-in-one on the 12th hole in Boring.

'We did a lot of golfing,' Johnsen says of her retirement before her husband died in 1975.

Besides Estacada getting its first bank, Johnsen says, some of the biggest changes she has witnessed in her life are going from the scrub board to the automatic washing machine and the use of microwaves.

'Oh, how I used to wash clothes on those scrub boards,' she says. 'And now, because I don't see so well, I use a microwave so I don't burn myself.'

And while she can't see well, one of her favorite pastimes is to follow the Portland Trail Blazers.

'I hope they are going to be good next year,' she says. 'I look forward to Blazers games. I listen to all of them on the radio.'

Garcia is originally from Puerto Rico and came to Estacada in 1980 after having lived in New York City. She worked for the Estacada Senior Center for a while and became a caregiver. Upon her retirement, she thought she might like to live back in New York City and did for a while, but, sure enough, she decided to move back to Estacada.

'I have a lot of fun here,' Garcia says, who enjoys doing puzzles in 300 Main's lobby. 'When I've had enough fun I go upstairs to my room to rest.'

'Both Lily and Sally have been involved in the community for many, many years,' Forsberg said. 'So has Boyle, who has worked with local veterans.'

300 Main is located at 300 S.E. Main St. in Estacada. Refreshments will be served at the open house.