Penny moved to Eskaton in 2017 after living in the East Sacramento area for 70 years. She was familiar with Eskaton because her father received exceptional care during rehabilitation many years ago. Penny says she loves the people and the staff at Eskaton Care Center Greenhaven. “They do a really good job… it’s so homey.”
Penny really enjoys being creative, singing and listening to music. She especially enjoys the daily exercise programs. She goes out of her way to encourage other Eskaton residents to participate, and that has helped her make many new friends. Penny is a cheerleader; if another resident is having a hard day, Penny is there to cheer them up. “I know how I’d want to be treated—I’d want someone to care about me,” she says. “The staff here, they all know me. They check on me all the time.”
Penny, the oldest of three girls, was born at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento. She remembers her cozy two-bedroom house in East Sac with its large hall closet that contained dolls, toys, books and puzzles. The hallway was a play zone where the imaginative sisters made pretend houses out of magazines and used buttons for people.
In her neighborhood, everyone knew each other. The adults played cards, rotating from one house to another. “I can remember them playing cards in our driveway and all us kids playing out in the grass.” The neighborhood kids played hide-and-seek until the street lights came on.
The family went on Sunday drives, sometimes just to look at cows. And before Christmas, they would take their lists and go shopping at Payless or Woolworths.
In the summer, the sisters rode bicycles to the McKinley Park pool for 7AM swimming lessons. “We already knew how to swim, so we weren’t scared; we loved it, and still do,” says Penny.
The sisters loved to watch TV. They hid under the coffee table while watching their favorite scary movies. When Dad came down the hallway pretending to be “The Thing,” the girls would scream, pretending to be scared.
Penny enjoyed spending time alone playing tether ball, basketball, jacks and marbles. She has fond memories of a nice cool spot on the four square court where she’d play for hours.
She liked exploring Sacramento and learning interesting facts. On one field trip to the State Capitol, she discovered there was a tree from every county in California planted on the grounds. She also remembers going to Tower Records when 45 rpm records were about 45 cents. She listened to her records over and over singing and dancing the Twist with her sisters.
After graduating from Sacramento High, Penny went on to Sacramento City College where she studied bookkeeping. She married and had three children of her own. She reminisces about taking her kids on picnics and adventures. They explored the local places she loves most: the library, the drive-in and Sutter’s Fort. Today, known as “fun grandma”, she tells tales of her childhood adventures and shares her love of Sacramento with her grandchildren. Although she is older, her spirit has not aged. She glows when reminiscing about her younger years.