by Valerie Jenkins
Over the past month we have hosted several celebrations for Wink Lamb’s 100th birthday. Wink shared with me earlier this year that he did not want a large party so several of the Vancouver area swimmers coordinated our efforts and planned different smaller events.
Over 100 Masters swimmers sang Happy Birthday to Wink at the Hood River meet on November 12th. Then of course we all had a wonderful cake! Wink was excited as different family members and friends were able to see him swim for the first time. Thank you to Sandi Rousseau and Tim Waud for sponsoring this event.
On December 9th, the Clark County YMCA hosted a gathering at their facility in Vancouver. Wink has been swimming at the Y for almost a year now and he has really enjoyed meeting the staff, seeing fellow swimmers, and usually having his own lane three times a week for his mile swim workout. Son Doug Lamb also joins Wink at the Y and walks the indoor track while his dad swims.
At the YMCA party I coordinated with the Patriot Guard Riders for a recognition ride for Wink. The Patriot Guard Riders are a non-profit organization that supports and recognizes Veterans throughout the country. Even though it was a cold rainy day, a small group of 4 motorcycles showed up with an even larger contingent of supporters in vehicles. They presented him with a Patriot Guard Riders flag which they all had signed. Many thanks to Arlene Delmage, Jayette Pettit, and Doug Brockbank for their assistance for this party.
Recently we have hosted some in-home events for Wink where he has shared his war time stories and memorabilia. Whenever he is asked the “secret” to a long life he humbly shares “just keep swimming!” Close to 100 people from across the United States have sent him birthday cards! He was overwhelmed with all the good wishes. Thank you to our fellow swimmers and Masters teams who participated.
We wish you the happiest of birthdays Wink. You are an inspiration to all of us and we look forward to seeing you at the pool in 2023!
Wink, You are an inspiration to all swimmers and active people. I would be proud to share a pool with you if you find yourself in Albany, OR. I hope to see you at a meet.
Jerry Blais (age 70)