Looking over the acreage outside the healthcare center, Bob gets a glimpse of his life in another era.
When he moved to Parkvue more than a year ago, Bob was having trouble walking. His physical limitations were contributing to an overall sullen demeanor. He just wasn’t himself.
Bob’s life began to change when he and an old acquaintance became roommates at Parkvue and he
acquired a motorized scooter to get around the campus. Then, construction started on 10 new cottages, the first phase of a three-part project to add more residential living options at Parkvue Place. Bob blossomed quickly, showing increased interest in going outdoors and interacting with the construction crew and his fellow residents.
“When the weather’s nice, I take my scooter and watch them build the houses,” Bob said. “I try to go out a couple times a day. I watched them put all the cement floors in and then I watched them build the houses. I can picture what this land used to look like.”
In the 1950s, Bob, who graduated from Sandusky High School in 1943, farmed part of the 160 acres where Parkvue sits today. He spent many hours hauling tools from the homestead where he lived until he moved to Parkvue in early 2017.
“It was good ground to work,” Bob said. “I knew the man who owned it, Mr. Kobe. This was old-time farming.”
Bob farmed all his life with his parents, two brothers and sister. He likes to joke that he was 12 years “late” — his siblings were much older, so he inherited the homestead after his older siblings worked it. The family dairy farm is located in Bloomingville, about 7 miles southeast of Sandusky.
Bob still reminisces about his life there, recalling the rural atmosphere and hard work that contributed much joy to his childhood.
The middle of the 20th century was a time of increased innovation as agricultural machinery manufacturers developed more sophisticated machines. Bob took advantage of the new technology and upgraded from his team of draft horses to a big red tractor.
Bob saw the development of the entire area around U.S. 250 (Milan Road). He remembers when a stone quarry took up the space where a mall sits today. Much of the land was used for farming. Today, the area boasts a variety of retail stores and lodging for tourists.
Bob is happy with the work done thus far on the cottages. In the fall, the team from Thomas & Marker Construction invited Bob on a tour, named him honorary foreman and presented him with his own hard hat.
“Bob is a great example of a resident who was able to find abundant life in community,” said Rev. Catherine Lawrence, chaplain at Parkvue Community. “He has really come out of his shell since construction began. The project has given him new meaning and we’re thankful to know him. We are blessed to have Bob’s active presence in our community.”