Where are you from? Where have you lived before moving to Oak Hammock?
AG – Born a Florida native, I grew up in Tavares, a small central Florida town. I was graduated from Florida State University and went immediately to my first job, teaching in a one-room school on a landlocked side paddle-wheel steamship in Abaco, Bahamas. I had 13 students, grades 1-7. I met Ray, my husband of 58 years, and married him within six months. We frequently moved during our early years together and eventually retired to Harbor Hills, a golfing community, where we lived for the next 12 years before moving to Oak Hammock.
RG – I was born in Valdosta, GA. As my dad was a district manager for a theater chain, we frequently moved, covering north FL, GA, and finally settling in AL. I went to Auburn for two years, joined the Army for another two years, and then graduated from Florida. After marriage, we moved from the Bahamas to Virginia, back to the Bahamas, to Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin, New Jersey, then to finish my career with Owens Illinois in Toledo, Ohio.
What was your career?
AG – My short salaried career was in education, where I taught in various locations – The one-room school, a 4th and 6th-grade combination in VA, nursery school in NJ, and special education in Ohio. Primarily, I was a volunteer, Cub Scouts Den Mother, with each of our three sons. I also taught too many Sunday Schools and Vacation Bible Schools to count and whatever was needed when they were in school, from band mom, sporting event ticket taker, office helper to a general flunky, and loving it all.
RG – After graduating from UF school of business, I worked for a few months at a local bank, then started an appliance store with my dad for a short time. My first big job was as junior accountant/safety/personnel manager for Owens Illinois in the Bahamas. Then, with numerous moves in between, I arrived at their headquarters in Toledo, Ohio, as Director of Human Resources for two of their significant divisions: Kimble Glass and Forest Products.
What is your biggest accomplishment (professionally or personally)?
AG – I would say raising our three sons, who have strong moral and family values. To be the successful, vibrant, intellectual, and social men they are is an excellent source of pride.
RG – I tend to think more in the moment. I am proud of what I have accomplished while living at Oak Hammock. Life is about living in the moment, and I think that is a great way to live.
What do you like the most about being retired?
AG & RG – Retirement gives one new freedom. Time is not restricted, and spontaneous happenings are ours for the taking, whether learning a new art form, extended travel, a trendy dining venue, and best of all, visits with our grandchildren.
Where is your favorite place to travel to?
AG – We have been fortunate to have traveled extensively. I would rate Portugal and Africa as two of my favorites.
RG – We have done many of the Road Scholar programs, both nationally and internationally. I agree with Anne; Portugal was a lot of fun. However, my golf outings in Ireland and Scotland with my son and golfing buddies were real standouts, as well.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
AG – Soon after moving back to Florida in the early 1990s, I became a Lake County Master Gardener. Along with Ray, I became involved with the UF IFAS Share Council, but my genuine interest was developing the Discovery Gardens in Tavares. My small garden plot at OH is a testament to my enjoyment of growing, preferably from seed, all types of plants but especially herbs.
RG – I play golf twice a week with a group from OH, primarily at the UF course. I used to jog and run 10K races; now, I enjoy walking. After moving to OH, I became interested in honeybees. A 4-year course from UF resulted in my Master Bee Keeping certification. OH, Bee Buddies results from finding like-minded buddies to work with for more than ten years. The present four Bee Buddies have six hives and have been working together on a bi-monthly basis; take Stock in Children is a fulfilling program I have been involved with for the past seven years, weekly luncheon meetings with my mentee. It is rewarding to have seen two 7th graders progress and graduate, going into the US Army and attending LSU.
What made you want to join the Oak Hammock community?
AG – I am delighted to do activities I greatly enjoy, such as walking, gardening, cooking, shopping for nothing, or simply DOING nothing. It is lovely to be in command of my time.
RG- There are three things: the Institue for Learning in Retirement, the excellent fitness center, it’s like having your very own personal trainer, and living in a community with outstanding residents and staff. We are 2004 Founding Members and have enjoyed every year.
What is one thing you would want the newest residents of Oak Hammock to know?
AG & RG- You determine when and where you want to go and what you want to learn on the way. Possibly, and most probably, you will learn things you did not know you wanted to learn.