BOUNTIFUL — Sometimes it takes more than a sturdy pair of shoes for Jerry Alden to get from his home to Golden Years Senior Activity Center in the morning.
When every day brings fresh snow as it did last week, Alden brings a shovel as well.
Rather than wait for someone else to shovel the walk, Alden digs his own path along Main Street until he reaches his destination, where coffee and doughnuts await.
“He told me he likes to do it because it keeps him moving and healthy,” said Karen Henderson, manager of the center.
Buses pick up seniors and bring them to the center later in the day, but Alden likes to be at the center early enough to join others for breakfast snacks at “a big, round table where they solve all the world’s problems,” said Henderson.
At 86, Alden has seen a lot of the world. He told of being born in Seattle and raised in northern Indiana. He told of serving in the U.S. Navy with a buddy from Utah, who sold him 20 acres in Wayne County. It was a purchase that later brought him to Utah.
He told of using “every bit of” the G.I. Bill, though admits he wasn’t the best student.
He spoke proudly of his stepson and others whose contributions he admires.
“I couldn’t resist being interested in every person I ever met,” he said.
He talked of ancestors that came over on the Mayflower and peppered the conversation with impressive words like “purportedly” and “tractable,” phrases like “diminution of income,” and questions like “May I query on one facet of your existence?”
Walking is something Alden enjoys. In fact, he said he would enjoy walking all day to Ogden if the weather were just a bit better.