Seniors: Nakayama a sense of humor at the Senior Center
When Beth Nakayama first called the Carson City Senior Citizens Center, it wasn’t to volunteer – she wanted to know if they had a softball team.
She enjoyed the sport and wanted to play. But Nakayama was told she was too young.
“So I waited a couple of years before calling back,” said Nakayama. “And when I did, I didn’t ask them if they had a softball team, I asked them how old you had to be to volunteer. To that they said, ‘Any age.’ So I came in.”
Nakayama and her husband, Albert, moved to Carson City about seven years ago from Gardena, Calif., where they had lived for 19 years. Albert’s employer had transferred him to Carson City.
“He works for Chromalloy. He’s either chief inspector or quality control manager. One of the two. I’m not quite sure of the exact title,” she sheepishly admitted.
Nakayama volunteers on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the dining room, serving hot tea. When she works, she likes to have fun. But her first day of volunteering two years ago, wasn’t so much fun.
“They put me on to watch the blood pressure line, to make sure no one took cuts. It scared me to death. Fortunately, it got better after that.”
Nakayama said she’s done a lot of things at the center, but working in the galley is her favorite.
“I usually serve tea and coffee. I served butter one day, and had a really good time. I told them (lunch customers) that it was wild mares butter and it took two forks to hold them down. That was the last time I did that.
“One time they let me bus the tables. I had way too much fun doing that. The customers asked me where my headlights were. I said they didn’t need to know that. But that’s me. I like to have fun. And that was the end of that.
“You are so busy all the time, you just look up at the clock after a while and it’s time to go home. I actually work up a sweat – and I like that.”
Nakayama mentioned she has two nicknames in the dining room – “Blabber Mouth” and “Bucket Lady.”
“I can talk your ear off for hours and not really talk about anything. So that’s why they call me Blabber Mouth. And that’s OK.
“And the other nickname, Bucket Lady, I didn’t even know I had. Then one day my son came in looking for me and someone said, ‘Oh, you mean Bucket Lady.’ But they call me that because at the end of the day, I ask if I can take home the uneaten, stale breads or fruit to feed the wildlife that comes around my house.”
Living in southeast Carson City, Nakayama has just about every wild animal visit her property except horses. The most common visitors are the mule deer, quail, coyotes and rabbits.
Her hobbies include painting ceramics and putting together jigsaw puzzles.
“I still want to get on a softball team,” chuckled Nakayama, who will give a call to the Carson City Recreation Division soon to see if they offer a league to her liking.
“When we lived in Gardena, I was vice president of the little league and did the official scorekeeping. My daughter, Michelle, was on a softball team and my son, Mike, was in the Little League. I did the things mothers do.”
Michelle is now married and lives in Anaheim, Calif., with her husband, Ken; Mike is attending the University of Nevada, Reno and was recently named to the dean’s list for maintaining a 3.8 grade point average. Nakayama also has several grandchildren.
“But I just love working at the center. It’s a lot of fun. The people are great.”