As a retired horticulturist and former judge at the Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition, John Price missed the fair fun that was cancelled this year due to COVID-19.
But the 79-year-old’s neighbours made sure Price didn’t miss out on an enormous spectacle out of Spallumcheen. Price was impressed to see out a 1,000-pound pumpkin at Swan Lake Nurseryland recently, another one of his favourite spots.
“He spent about six years working at Swan Lake Fruit Stand after his retirement and is still warmly welcomed whenever he goes out to say hello to the many long time staff that he worked with there,” neighbour Brenda Canning said. “I’ve taken him out to shop and check out the activity there for the past few months and the staff are always happy to see him.”
Price has fond memories of his time as a judge at the IPE, and missed out on seeing the agricultural displays this year.
Turning 80 this spring, Price remains in his home, where he’s lived for about 40 years, thanks to some help from friends and neighbours who have come to love and care for him.
He loves to get out to go for his weekly newspaper (which he said he always looks forward to reading) and drives to observe the nature, wildlife and the goings-on around Vernon and the North Okanagan.
“He especially likes to stop in and say hello to longtime friends, the Davison’s, at Davison Orchard and check out and support the Farmers Market (especially the nice lady with the delicious plum cake) and see some of the farmers he’s known for years,” Canning said.
Born and raised in Smithers, B.C., Price attended university in Vancouver. He then moved to Osoyoos where he worked for many years before moving to Vernon.
“It’s nice to see seniors be able to have the quality of life and be able to get out to socialize with long time friends and have the enjoyment of still being involved with their communities,” Canning said.
“It takes a community that cares to help this happen and I would hope that more people would get involved with helping seniors have this quality of life. It’s such a joy to see the smiles on their faces when they are able to get out and appreciate the littlest things that most of us take for granted.”