August 2020 Newsletter

Faith Over Fear

Message From Sue

Summer 2020

Hello my dear Silveridge friends! This has been a different kind of summer for all of us. As you have “hunkered down” because of the coronavirus, I hope you are healthy and still enjoying the simple pleasures of family, faith and some fun. These have been some challenging times with wearing masks, social distancing and not having the freedom of being able to come and go as we please. Embracing what we have and connecting with our family and a few close friends has given us a new appreciation of life.

I am happy to say that the Activity Office will be open October 1st. We will be following all the rules and regulations! I assure you that the corporate office is strictly following the safety requirements for our park. Your safety and wellness is our #1 priority! They will be keeping a close eye on the Arizona CDC (Center for Disease Control ) and any changes that are made concerning our community at Silveridge. Yes, Sharon and I will be wearing our masks and greeting you from 6 feet apart. (Do you know how hard this will be for us??? We all love to hug!) Writing from the heart, I want you to know that I feel your fear and concerns. I want to encourage you to have faith over fear; faith that a vaccine will soon be out, faith in our leaders that they will make wise decisions and faith in our Home Office. My hope is that we are all able to return to our Silveridge home including our Canadian friends as they await their border to open. I do not know the extent of how the virus will affect our planned club and group activities and our entertainment events. It may be a slower beginning. I am keeping a positive mental expectancy that things will eventually return to “normal” and that we will be able to keep most of our planned activities.

Therefore, there will be no pre- buying of tickets this year. Because of the changing safety rules and not knowing how many events we will have, it will be “Buy as you Go.” As in the past, I have some wonderful Dinner Shows, Concerts, Dances, Welcome Back events and even Karaoke booked for the season. I am keeping in touch with my entertainment agents and they understand there may be changes made in our scheduled events. At this time, I will not be posting the Ticket Order List online. I promise you that as soon as I know more information, I will notify you of any changes in our activities through the Silveridge Sun and or Silveridge Connect.

Last year our theme was “Finding Our Happy Place.” Yes, we will continue to find our Happy Place even in hard times! The latest issue of AARP Magazine had a meaningful article on happiness. The writer pointed out that during challenging times we need to pursue and find happiness more than ever! We need that emotional lift. It could be listening to a happy song such as “Here comes the Sun” by the Beatles or “I’m a Happy Girl” or any song that cheers you up. Happiness comes from within. On a spiritual level, our joy may be found by taking someone to a doctor appointment or assisting them with a household chore. Often in Silveridge Connect I read about these acts of kindness. Having an attitude of gratefulness helps sustain us emotionally. How about writing a thank you note to anyone serving in the medical, police, fire or rescue teams who have worked tirelessly to help save those afflicted with the virus? By cultivating this emotional compassion for others, we will nourish and sustain our positive outlook on life. That is why we honor our volunteers at Silveridge! You serve us by giving your time and heart to be leaders and helpers. We appreciate you!

Through the years, many friendships have been formed through our happy hours and activities. These good relationships keep us healthier and happier, and the warm weather also helps! Let us reach out and move forward with an attitude of FAITH OVER FEAR. Our social gatherings may be smaller and even though there are changes, one thing that will not change is your friendliness and commitment to make our park a community who cares. I am proud to be your Activity Director. Here’s to your Health and Happiness and your safe return!

– Sue

The latest in our series…
The People of the Park:

Meet Mike Hacker

By Dale Dauten

“Mike is a quiet, soft-spoken guy, but I soon realized that he knows a lot. Every time I talk to him, I learn something new – and it’s all positive. He’s just what we need, a great fit.”

That’s head of the parks’ management team, George Igualt, talking about Mike Hacker, who George recently named as the new Maintenance Manager. We managed to get Mike to talk about himself and we’re glad we did – he’s had quite a life – and he even came through with some great photos from the 1980s that will make you smile.

Although he was born in Southern California and spent his early years there, Mike moved with his father to Southern Illinois at age 13, and went to Carterville High, where he blossomed into a three-sport athlete: football, baseball and wrestling.

While he was the halfback on the Carterville Lions football team that won their conference his senior year, it was baseball that won him over – he made the varsity even as a freshman, played centerfield all four years and kept at it, playing in baseball and softball leagues into his forties.

His high school sweetheart back then — this was the 1980s — was a girl with the interesting name of Manissa. Remember that name – we’re going to encounter her again.

Meanwhile, Mike finished high school and gave ITT tech school a try, but at age 21 joined the Army, serving for nearly a decade. His specialty ended up being Stinger missiles, the surface-to-air missiles that can be shot by troops or mounted on vehicles. Mike served in the Gulf War in Iraq and spent time on the DMZ in South Korea, but his favorite assignment was as in Instructor for NATO, stationed in Germany. For three years he taught classes to soldiers from around NATO, certifying them in the use of the Stinger.

(For Mike, the highpoint of the NATO training was working with a simulator. Trainees would see a pinpoint appear on a screen, along with sound effects to match, and there came incoming planes, any one of 35 aircraft. The trainee had to decide which was friend and which foe, then “shoot” each with a laser beam and watch the plane blow up on the screen. Among Mike’s trainees were regulars like the British Special Forces, along with the occasional dignitary, like the time the Prime Minister of Ukraine, contemplating a purchase of Stingers, stopped in to check out Mike’s operation.)

After Germany, the Army wanted Mike to “go ride on tanks” and that’s when he decided it was time to try civilian life. He had a sweet assignment lined up, working for a military contractor in El Paso, but abrupt changes in the company’s fortunes put an end to that plan and instead he went to school to become a truck driver. He drove semis for four years but, as Mike explained, “by then I was married and had babies and my wife said, ‘You need to come home.’”

Mike’s uncle, who lived in Phoenix, offered him a job doing maintenance work for apartment complexes, contingent on being ready to start on the upcoming Monday. So Mike and the family made an instant move to the Valley and settled in Phoenix. It turned out that Mike had a knack for the job – he was nominated five times for Maintenance Supervisor of the Year by the Arizona Multifamily Association.

Despite devoting himself to his job, he ended up starting a business of his own, cleaning offices at night. While Mike eventually moved to Mesa and ended up getting divorced, his business has been a constant for ten years now. Even with his fulltime job at The Resort and Silveridge, he still spends three evenings a week and Sundays on his cleaning company. He says of holding two jobs, “I start at five in the mornings at the parks, and I’m done in the early afternoon. Then I go into the cleaning business in the evening.” Mike shrugged, smiled and said simply, “I work a lot.”

And now, as promised, we can get back to that high school sweetheart, Manissa…

She recently found Mike on social media and the two renewed their friendship. When I asked Mike if he had any photos from his football days or time in the military, he said he didn’t, but that his old girlfriend had recently sent photos from high school. He passed along one of him, plus a classic one from the school prom:

(Thank you, Manissa. Naturally, we couldn’t resist asking Mike if there’s a rekindled romance going? And he said there is. How does a guy with two jobs have time for romance? She lives in Chicago… but has been to visit.)

These days, you’re likely to encounter Mike in his golf cart, zipping from one project to the next. He described his goal for the parks’ Maintenance team: “

“We want to take care of the residents and we want the property to look so good that everybody wants to stay here.”