WELLINGTON — The crowning of a fair king and queen isn’t reserved only for the younger generation. Two older folks were deemed senior citizen royalty Thursday afternoon.
Oscar Woods, 80, and Karen Farmer, 65, were named Lorain County Fair senior citizen king and queen in front of a large crowd gathered to celebrate the fair’s Senior Citizens’ Day.
Sponsored by the Lorain County Office on Aging and Hospice of the Western Reserve, the king and queen competition lets senior citizens know they still are valued members of the community.
Woods, nominated by Oberlin Manor Apartments, was born and raised in Elyria, where he graduated from Elyria High School before serving four years in the Air Force. After his military service, he worked for, and retired from, the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. He then spent time working for Lorain County Drug and Alcohol Abuse Services as a van driver picking up young people with addictions.
Woods offered young people this advice if they want to live to 80:
“Get a job and stay busy. Leave those no-good drugs alone.”
Farmer, an Avon Lake resident, spent 37 years working as a kindergarten teacher. She was nominated to be queen by the Lorain County Office on Aging Northeast Office Meals on Wheels program, where she volunteers.
“I volunteer somewhere just about every day,” Farmer said.
Her advice to people of all ages is to stay active and find a new adventure each day.
“My motto in life is: Make the most of today,” she said.
Farmer, who has never been crowned a queen in any other event, said it is an honor.
“I wish my mother were alive to see this,” Farmer said. “I was always morbidly obese until about seven years ago. It was always a thorn in my mother’s side because she was the beauty queen, most popular and all that stuff. So I thought ‘Okay Mother, finally!’ ”
Wiping away tears from his eyes, Woods said he never thought he would be crowned a king.
“It feels good,” Woods said. “It feels really good.”
Sue Malik, Lorain County Office on Aging office manager, said the event tells seniors they are not alone.
“A lot of seniors find themselves feeling that nobody cares about them,” she said. “This is a way to say, ‘Hey, we do care’.”
For more information on senior services, visit the Office on Aging booth at the fair in Building 19, call 326-4826 or visit www.lcooa.org.