Of all the seasons, fall is my favorite," says Arnold Spike" Sisinni. Spike is a resident at Getz Personal Care Home in Jonas and he was one of 40 different folks being taken for a ride through the countryside to see the fall foliage courtesy of 10 drivers, nine members of the Western Pocono Lions Club and Linda Tracy, of the Western Pocono Lioness Club.
These colors are just fascinating," said Spike, a former diesel mechanic who hails from Staten Island but has lived in Jonas since 1968 when he and his wife built a house in the area.
For Lorie Benard, formerly from Lansford and a secretary in a hospital in years gone by, it was a first time out. She's been at Getz' since just April and she heard about the outing when residents talked about the date with the Lions.
The relationship between the seniors and the Lions goes back over 30 years, when Lion Chris Sweeney started this program for World Lions Day 32 years ago. He says, It was when Jim Williams was president."
Sweeney, who is a Past Council Chair for Lions and World Lions Day Chairman, has been making the arrangements each year since then and this year the outings again included folks from four sites: Brookmont Health Care in Effort, Mrs. Bush's Personal Care in Kunkletown, Getz's, and Chestnut Hill Manor in Brodheadsville.
He thanks all the Lions and Lioness that helped make the day a great success," including the site coordinators, members of the Western Pocono Lioness who provided many cookies that were distributed to the four Senior facilities for their guests and employees; Barbara Hoffman of Brodheadsville, who collected" all the cookies at the family's insurance office; and, of course, the drivers of which he was one. Others included Tom Kresge, Mike Piersa, Donald Gower, Eugene Bilodeau, Robert Argot, Dave Rowan, Terry Rinehart, Lion Past President Herman Green and Mary Jane Lucrezi.
We had about 40 people scheduled to go for a ride in the mountains to enjoy the fall foliage and view the countryside," reports Sweeney, adding, the weather was sunny with a clear blue sky and all the guests had a great day outdoors."
As clouds careened overhead and the sun slowly peeked between them Spike and Lorie and their driver headed north on Route 115, Spike remembered when the road had no buildings along it. Today it is a thoroughfare of development, including the Birch Brier Estates where the four drivers that were caravaning behind each other climbed for a better view of the surrounding area.
Although the sky was a bit murky at times, the riders could see to the Delaware Water Gap.
Coming and going up the heights, they watched for animals such as deer and turkey, with Linda Tracy and her rider Peter Barna being fortunate enough to see two of the four-legged ones.
A climb up Route 115 took the caravan of cars to Kuhenbeaker Road heading to Long Pond. Riders saw beautiful properties," and continued the fall trek to Route 903.
Yellows dance with oranges among the trees; children were playing soccer at school. Then it was back to Route 534 and through Meckesville, past the Penn Forest Fire Company where firefighters were doing Fire Prevention Week activities. Soon it was back to Getz's and more conversation about the ride.
Great!" was Robert Jump's evaluation. It was his first time out.
All right," said Bobby Ott, 73.
And for driver Linda Tracy, on her first time out, the reaction was, I thought it was nice," adding that this way she got to see the leaves, too.
Everybody seemed to have a good time," was her conclusion, echoed by many of the participants.
And for the drivers, Sweeney's thoughts on why he does this could well be the reason for all, It's a part of giving back."