Celebrating generations of love

Fairfield Daily Republic ©

FAIRFIELD - A person in their golden years has more character in their expression than a million songs.

Bev Salmon is a 73-year-old grandmother, far from agile, who has lived a life of which movies are made. She sits by a table inside the Loyalton at Rancho Solano, with silver hair framing her white skin, and talks of her past with a smile.

Salmon was born in Kansas and reared in Oklahoma, where she lived on a farm without electricity or a bathroom. Her daily routines included milking the cows twice daily and walking two miles to the area's only school, conveniently accommodating students in first through 12th grade. If it snowed, her father would take Salmon and her two siblings to school by tractor trailer.

"I graduated high school with seven students," she said and paused. Then smiled.

Salmon studied shorthand and became a stenographer before moving to Wichita, Kan., where she worked as a file clerk.

"I met a gal who commented her brother was coming home from the Navy," she recalled. "I met him, he asked me out and that was it. I married him."

The woman who now uses a walker to ease her steps was married to Sr. Chief Petty Officer Robert Lee Salmon for 35 years before he died in 1982 from lung cancer. She still carries of picture of him nestled inside a magazine on her walker. He remains as youthful in her mind as in the old photo.

They brought four children into the world, made sacrifices to give them a good life and education, and led by example.

Salmon, who has lived at the assisted living facility for four years because she doesn't want to be alone, is looking forward to Sunday, when she sees her son and his family for Grandparents Day during a celebration at the facility.

"I reserved the formal dining room for me, my family, and my dear friend," she said. "I'm really looking forward to spending the day with them."

The first Sunday after Labor Day is nationally known as Grandparent's Day, a proclamation signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1978 and observed by millions throughout the United States.

The purpose is to honor grandparents, give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children, and to help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.

"I love being a grandma. It's just the best and they are precious moments," she said.

Reach Andrea E. Garcia at 427-6953 or agarcia@dailyrepublic.net.