By SEAN ROWLEY
Thanks to their hobbies, two Tahlequah retirement community residents have created aesthetic enhancements in which they and their neighbors take much delight.
Over the course of a decade, Gene Martin, 90, has transformed plots around his residence at Davis Retirement Apartments into colorful flowerbeds. Carol Trevier creates totems and other pieces of yard art that she places in front of her apartment.
“I have roses, azaleas, rose of sharon, gardenias,” Martin said. “I’ve worked a long time to make them look good. Now it is to the point that I just need to water and mulch the beds.”
Trevier spends about two hours each day working on yard art or her front door display.
“I took a sewing machine base and used it to make a wagon,” she said. “I also have bird feeders. It is important to have something to do to keep you busy.”
Years ago, Martin earned some media coverage by cultivating a 9-foot-tall tomato plant.
“It made the front page,” he said. “I still have the cutout on the front of my refrigerator.”
Trevier was born in California and has “lived in Oklahoma a couple of times.”
“Most recently, I moved to Tahlequah in 2009 and into Davis in 2010,” she said.
A native of Gans and reared in Webbers Falls, Martin moved to California with his family in 1935.
He served as Army infantry in the Pacific during the second world war, spending 32 months in theater as a machine-gunner. In 1965, he returned to Oklahoma and has lived in Tahlequah for more than a decade.
“I lived on Lake Tenkiller for a couple of years before I moved to these apartments,” he said.
“I have lived here for about 10 years or so.”
Trevier is known around the Davis apartments for keeping a busy schedule, and she had a little advice or older people - or younger people - about living a life of vitality.
“You want something to do that keeps you busy all the time,” she said. “It is the best thing to do in your life; it keeps you young and healthy, and it keeps your mind sharp and occupied.”
Martin attributes his longevity and energy to exercise and staying active. He said he walked the highway loop around Tahlequah at age 83, just to see if he could do it.
“It was 13 miles total in four hours, 29 minutes,” he said. “Up to then, the most I’d ever walked at one time was seven miles. I still walk two miles a day. That’s why I’m in as good a shape as I’m in. That’s what keep me going. You can’t just sit down. If you do that, you won’t be sitting for very long.”