MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

January 6, 2013

Retired in name only, he stays on the go

Chair mostly unnecessary for Edgar Bradshaw

— People visiting the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center on most Mondays might see the friendly, familiar face of Edgar Bradshaw.

“My official title is greeter,” Bradshaw said. “When they come into the business office, I find out what their needs are and attach them to their specific need.”

It’s a volunteer job he has relished for eight or nine years.

“I feel like I’m there in the office to help cut down on the time they have to spend there,” he said. “I feel like I’m helping them. I’m older than most of them, but I feel like I’m in better shape than a lot of them.”

Or they might see Bradshaw two-stepping across the floor at the Hatbox dance hall.

“I go every Tuesday night,” he said. “I mostly two-step. They have line dancing and square dancing, but I never learned that. I learned to dance at the old country dances, where they had a fiddle and a guitar.”

A dance partner, Terri Hutson, says Bradshaw “dances my feet off.”

Some people might even see Bradshaw outside walking the perimeter of Country Garden Assisted Living Facility, where he lives. He tries to do that every morning, even when the temperature dips below freezing. He said the walk is about three-fourths of a mile.

“I keep in shape by not sitting in a chair,” he said. “When I wake up, I do 25 knee-bends and 25 bend-overs. Then, after breakfast, I get out and walk. I sit down and rest, then I get out and walk some more, just up and down the halls. A lot of residents here do the halls.”

When people see Bradshaw, they’re likely to see an active, busy man.

“I just have to keep active,” he said. “At 93 years of age, I don’t have too many years left. I want to keep active as long as I can.”

Over his nine decades, Bradshaw has gotten used to being active — from finding a way to making a profit at a general store, to serving in two wars, to working in wholesale after the Korean War.

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