Monthly Archives: August 2013

A Piece of String: An Exercise in Problem Solving

Roy E. Davis

Author and Primrose resident, Roy E. Davis

Airman Roy E. Davis

Airman Roy E. Davis

Sometimes the easiest and logical solution to a critical problem can often be solved by the simplest known methods of problem solving tools. Take a simple piece of string.

In combat, the two waist gunners are responsible for protecting their side of the aircraft. As enemy aircraft flew within view of these gunners, they fired continuously until the aircraft disappeared from view. This continuous firing created a problem when the barrel of the machine gun overheated. This heat often caused the gun to malfunction and to become inoperative. In the often confusing and sometimes frantic conditions experienced in combat, their excessive firing also unintentionally damaged the wing tips of the waist gunner’s own B-17.

As the number of B-17’s returning with both wing tips severely damaged increased, a design flaw in the waist gunner’s position in the aircraft was suspected. To expect a waist gunner, as they fired on enemy aircraft, to stop short of hitting their own aircraft was unrealistic. Hence, we were assigned the task to find a solution to this serious problem.

Studying the problem with measurement and other ideas, my colleagues and I were, at first, rather stumped. We started by checking identical B-17 bombers, where wing tip damage did not exist. Upon further examination the problem seemed to be caused when the new advanced air-cooled machine guns were installed on older B-17’s. In summary, the wing tip damage was being caused when the new gun was installed on the older B-17’s. Our challenge was to determine the maximum amount of arc travel that could be permitted by the machine gun without resulting in damage to the wing tips. Our objective was to find the optimal travel of the gun and control it mechanically so the waist gunner could focus on shooting down the enemy aircraft and not be concerned with hitting their own aircraft. In one of our mechanic tool boxes was a ball of string and a means to help us find a solution. By tying the string to the front sight of the window machine gun and to the area of damage on the wing tip we were able to determine where the forward travel of the gun needed to stop.

With this information, we began designing brackets to stop the forward travel of the machine gun to prevent inflicting damage to the wing. The installation of these brackets gave us a quick fix to a serious problem. The entire problem solving process and installation of the brackets was completed in 36 hours. With the gun firing arc of travel completely under control, no new wing tip damage occurred and the problem was solved in the field by military personnel. We felt the timely and cost-effective implementation of our solution certainly contributed to the European war effort and hopefully helped save the lives of many of our airmen. As the old saying goes, the simplest ideas and methods are usually the best solution.

About the Author:
Sgt. Roy E. Davis was inducted into the USAAF on May 15, 1942. He completed basic training at Kessler Field in Biloxi, Mississippi and received technical meteorological training at Chanute Field in Rantoul, Illinois. In August of 1942, he was shipped to the Bovington Air Force Base in Wadford, England. Mr. Davis was honorably discharged from the service in November 1945. He is a life-long resident of Anderson, Indiana, with wife, Georgianna and their three children. He now calls Primrose Retirement Community in Anderson, IN his home.

[Welcome, gentle reader. You have just finished reading the 37th installment in a series of blogs written by actual Primrose residents. Please return often to read more! — Ed]

To find out more about the creative heroes living at Primrose, please contact your nearest Primrose Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!

THIS IS LIVING

Mankato's Primrose Senior-ritas Win Big Their First Year

Primrose Senior-ritas

Senior-ritas raise money at Relay for Life event

Mankato Retirement Community

This year was the first year that Primrose of Mankato sponsored a team for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life event.

We were the “Primrose Senior-ita’s” and our theme was a Mexican Fiesta!

Six members of our management & staff, and a few family members and friends made up our winning team! We raised money throughout the year at various events, including our famous bake sale last fall.

Our residents got involved by helping to decorate luminary bags and making personal donations of their own.

The night of the event we sold Nachos and non-alcoholic margarita punch at our booth and tickets for a game of chance to win some fabulous prizes! With all of our combined fundraising efforts and sales the night of the event we raised over $1,400 for the American Cancer Society!

Not only was our team noted at the event as a “Rising Star Team” for our fundraising efforts, but we also took first place in the team site decorating contest!

It was a great success for us, especially being our first year!

We’d like to thank everyone who donated to our team and helped to make it such a great event.

We are already planning and starting to fundraise for the 2014 Relay for Life!

by Rachel Carpenter
Life Enrichment Coordinator

To find out more about the creative types at Primrose, please contact your nearest Primrose Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!

THIS IS LIVING

How We Define Friendship

Mary Hope Bryant and Barb Megaro

Mary Hope Bryant and Barb Megaro

Lima, OH, Retirement Community

Friendship…how do we define it? Friendship is those who you meet in your life — No matter how young you are or how old you are — Where you came from or where you have been.

These two ladies lived in two different parts of the United States. Mary Hope Bryant is from Texas and Barb Megaro is from Arizona.

They met at Lima Primrose and had other things in common, too. Mary Hope and Barb both moved to be closer to their only daughters. When Barb’s husband passed away she went to live with her daughter. She comes to stay at Primrose when her daughter goes out of town. She then comes with her caregiver to visit at lunch time with her friends. We are so glad to see her and so glad these two ladies became friends!!

by Larrain Benroth
Life Enrichment Coordinator

To find out more about senior living/apartment homes at Primrose, please contact your nearest Primrose Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!

THIS IS LIVING

Zip Lining Adventure at Wasilla Primrose

Ziplining above the trees

Ziplining above the trees

Wasilla Retirement Community

In July, the men of Primrose Wasilla decided to go on an adventure of a lifetime. They wanted to go zip lining at our Matanuska Glacier — a feat nicknamed “1,500 feet of adrenaline.”

When the word got around the community that our brave men would go ride the “Nitro”, my signup sheet was full with staff and residents who wanted to see this exhilarating event take place.

We started the day off with a beautiful 125 mile scenic drive. When we arrived we geared up with our helmets and harnesses, then we ascended the three-story tower to start our flight.

The anticipation got their palms sweating and we all knew the initial drop would get everyone’s heart pumping. The men enjoyed the view of the river and the surrounding mountains almost 200 feet below.

Then the time came to step off and fly down the cable coasting into the forest which was a quarter of a mile long. We ended the day with a picnic in the sunshine.

by Maria Rodriguez
Life Enrichment Coordinator

To find out more about the exciting lifestyle at Primrose, please contact your nearest Primrose Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!

THIS IS LIVING

Sweetwater Hosts 4th of July Party

Sweetwater Residents Celebrate July 4th

Sweetwater Residents Celebrate July 4th

Sweetwater Retirement Community

Patriotic music filled the air as contestants lined up for the First Annual Fourth of July Parade in Sweetwater’s parking lot. The parade route may not have been long, but there were enthusiastic participants and an appreciative audience as the parade formed at 10:00 in the morning. A panel of resident judges selected the best decorated bicycle and best decorated motor scooter as the parade circled twice around the parking lot to cheers and applause.

Children with their bicycles decorated with flags and crepe paper followed the adults who had festooned walkers and motor scooters with flags, stars, and banners. All were in high spirits, wearing patriotic colors, and some had tall Uncle Sam hats. Naomi Sweeney led the parade with her motor scooter draped in a “God Bless America” banner and other decorations that won her the prize of a large box of goodies. The best children’s decorated bike was judged to be that of Sammie Day, who won a new bicycle for her efforts.

Everyone was treated to juice and cupcakes with red, white and blue frosting at the conclusion of the parade as enthusiastic plans were already being made for next year.

by Betty Jean Long
Life Enrichment Coordinator

To find out more about the senior living experience at Sweetwater, please contact Sweetwater Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!

THIS IS LIVING

Duluth Primrose Hosts Community Breakfast

Duluth Fire Company at Primrose Breakfast

Duluth Fire Company at Primrose Breakfast

On Wednesday, July 17th, from 7:30 to 9:00 our Duluth Primrose hosted a community breakfast for its residents and family members as well our local fire department.

It was a very busy morning as we served 148 people. Our Primrose residents truly enjoy having our firemen and firewoman in our community enjoying a very tasty blueberry pancake breakfast. What a great way to start the day.

Fireman Brad Bushey was also celebrating his birthday, and we went the extra mile and put candles in his pancakes as we all chimed in with the Happy Birthday song, Primrose style.

Come see why we say, This is Living!

by Kim Grogan
Marketing Director

To find out more about the goings-on at Primrose, please contact your nearest Primrose Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!

THIS IS LIVING

What Primrose Means to Me

Nate Plummer

Nate Plummer

Pueblo, CO, Retirement Communities

What is Primrose to Me? I moved here last month, and on my first day I spent time with Miss Barbara (Life Enrichment Director) and Miss Heather (Marketing Director) where they asked me about my life and we had ice cream in the Parlor. That afternoon they invited me to happy hour and I got up and sang with the Jazz Man Kevin. Wow! The audience clapped and even stood up for me. That was all right by me. This place reminds me of the Broadmoor (the world famous five star resort in nearby Colorado Springs). I want to play my drums for everyone next time we get together.

I have been singing all my life and taught myself to play the piano and the drums when I was in the United States Army Band. I started out in the Infantry during World War II, but they were doing an awful lot of shooting at me and I figured I had a better shot at staying alive if I joined the band.

So I did, and eventually left Korea and the 2nd Infantry Division after nine months, and traveled around the United States to a lot of different bases and then finished out my career at Fort Carson, Colorado. I served twenty-two years in the Army. That is how I ended up living in Fountain, Colorado, all those years with my wife, who died a few years back.

The people here have been nice to me and I look forward to doing some more singing and drumming along with my friend John Turner. John’s the one who told me about Primrose and he was right, it is great.

You all come hear me sometime at Primrose.

by New Resident & Musician, Mr. Nathaniel “Nate” Plummer
Pueblo Primrose

[Welcome, gentle reader. This is the 36th installment in a series of blogs written by actual Primrose residents. Please return often to read more! — Ed]

To find out more about the musicians residing at Primrose, please contact your nearest Primrose Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!

THIS IS LIVING

Bill Arnold Part of Honor Flight

Bill Arnold

Bill Arnold

Sweetwater residents greet Bill Arnold at airport

Sweetwater residents greet Bill Arnold at airport upon his return from Honor Flight

Billings, MT, Retirement Communities

It took some convincing to get Sweetwater resident Bill Arnold to agree to go on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., in June, although it would seem that if any World War II veteran should be honored for his service, it’s Bill. He was inducted into the Army on March 25, 1941 and discharged five years later on March 25, 1946, having survived the first battles in the Pacific and three and a half years as a prisoner of war and slave laborer in the Philippines and Japan. Reflecting on those terrible years, he still thinks of himself as a lucky man. He survived.

Bill was born in Fishtail, MT, raised on a ranch during the great depression of the 1930s and couldn’t afford bus fare to go to high school, so he had to drop out in his freshman year. But he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps one summer and earned enough money to graduate from Absarokee High School in 1937. Because it was hard to find full time work, Bill and some of his friends decided to join the Army, thinking they might be able to stay together. But they all ended up going different directions.

Trained as a radio operator, Bill was assigned to armored unit and soon found himself as member of a tank crew destined for the Philippines. He arrived there 17 days before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and American installations in the Philippines. The story of the desperate five-month defense of Bataan and Corregidor and the tragic events that followed is told in a book Bill wrote in 2002, titled “Some Survived.”

Bill returned to Montana after the war and was married in 1950. He lived and worked first in Absarokee and then Billings. He retired from the State Highway Department in 1982 and has enjoyed golf, fishing, and painting. After the death of his first wife Gertrude in 1987, Bill married again in 1989. He and his second wife Sadye lived in Billings and in later years enjoyed life at Sweetwater until her death in November,2012.

In his book, Bill wrote that the experience of being a prisoner taught him that “our freedom is worth fighting for.” He urges everyone to vote and says we must “never again suffer the bitter consequences of being unprepared.” Later generations can learn a lot, listening to Bill Arnold.

by Betty Jean Long
Life Enrichment Coordinator

To find out more about the heroes residing at Sweetwater, please contact Sweetwater Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!

THIS IS LIVING

Sweetwater Retirement Community Rolls Out Car Show

Bev and Betty and Faye taking a ride

Bev and Betty and Faye taking a ride

Residents sharing their own stories with others about cars in their past

Residents sharing their own stories with others about cars in their past

Enjoying a ride in a car from the past

Enjoying a ride in a car from the past

Billings, Montana, Senior Living Communities

The second annual Roaring 20s Car Club show at Sweetwater June 8th brought 21 antique and classic cars to our parking lot for residents and guests to admire, and some were even able to hop in for a ride around the neighborhood.

Chef Mike Brandel offered grilled hamburgers, as well as hot dogs, chips and soda while the Webb Family Band livened up the party with country music on the front porch.

The oldest car in the group was a 1916 Dodge Brothers touring car, but perhaps the most popular was the 1919 Buick when the owner offered to take folks for a spin. Others rode in a 1928 Model A Ford Sedan. Several Model Ts and Model As, including one with an Alaska license plate, shared the pavement with a Plymouth and a 1932 Chevy Confederate. Some of the first cars to become widely available after World War II, including a 1947 Ford Super Deluxe Coupe and a 1948 Buick Special reminded us of the chrome and steel elegance of post-war cars. A gleaming 1951 Studebaker was a favorite of some, but a 1936 blue Ford coupe caught the eye of Sweetwater resident Art Nelson. There was good reason — it was just like the first car he ever owned!

by Betty Jean Long
Life Enrichment Coordinator

To find out more about the senior living experience at Sweetwater, please contact Sweetwater Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!

THIS IS LIVING