Visit with Willard “Wink” Lamb 4

Willard “Wink” Lamb keeping up with the times.

Willard “Wink” Lamb keeping up with the times.

Colette Crabbe, Valerie Jenkins, and Arlene Delmage recently checked in on OREG swimmer Wink Lamb.  We sat in their back yard on a beautiful August day and visited with Wink (97) and his son Doug (71).  Things have not been easy during these COVID times and Wink has not been in a pool since restrictions were put in place in March.   He does, however, do a dryland routine based on physical therapy exercises he learned after shoulder surgery years ago.  Wink demonstrated the exercise he performs on a daily basis to keep his back pain free.  He does thirty repetitions of a movement that is similar to a combination of child’s pose and up dog (for those that are familiar with yoga terminology).

We learned more about Wink’s family and his other son, Jim, who lives in Portland.  We also learned that both Wink and Doug have an iPhone 11 so we spent a little time on technology 101.  Their routine is far from normal, but they do visit friends almost daily for some socializing at McDonald’s in the mornings.

Like the rest of us, they are becoming a little restless and were about to embark on a road trip the next morning.  Their first stop was going to be in Spokane to visit Wink’s twin brother.  There were five boys in Wink’s family. He and his twin are number two and three and the only surviving children.  Wink’s brother has been in a nursing home for years “because he always had a desk job”.

Valerie Jenkins, Doug Lamb, Arlene Delmage, Wink Lamb, Colette Crabbe

Valerie Jenkins, Doug Lamb, Arlene Delmage, Wink Lamb, Colette Crabbe

Wink is looking forward to attending his Army reunion in September 2021, in San Antonio, Texas.  He was disappointed he could not go there to compete in Nationals this year and is looking forward to racing again.  We enjoyed chatting about 2022 when Wink will be competing in the 100+ age group!  What an inspiration!

Wink’s home in Vancouver is really nice.  He built it himself over a two year period and has been living there for sixty years.  He takes pride in the lovely vegetables growing in the back yard.  Wink cut some of his heirloom tomatoes and gave them to us.  We were fortunate enough to be there the day before their road trip so we received a large amount.  Lucky us!  As we were leaving, he was pleased to show us his Masters International Swimming Hall of Fame award and even his first-ever blue ribbon … from 1936!


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4 thoughts on “Visit with Willard “Wink” Lamb

  • Jeffrey Piette

    Glad Willard is doing well and son Doug! I miss not seeing them this summer at Lake Shore AC. It’s always nice to run into them . Take care!!

  • Peggy Whiter

    Thanks for this. I have been out of the pool for about 1 1/2 years due to a nymber of issues. I’m working my way back with Deep Water exercise and YOGA. I will turn 77 in October. One thing which has been on my mind to accomplish is to beat Willard lamb in a 200 free! I think I may have come in ahead of him at some point in a 400, but neveer a 200. So glad he’ll be hitting the race circuit when things open up again.

  • Ila T Lamb

    My married name is Lamb and I would be interested to know if my husband was related to Wink. I am 91 years old. My husband’s Lambs came from Bluewater, New Mexico in the early 1900’s and after a brief stop in Arizona, some settled in southern California. They all had big families so Wink might be a distant cousin. Does Louis Edwin and Lottie Mable Hakes Lamb ring a bell? They are the great grandparents of my husband. One of the great aunts settled in Oregon, in the Medford area. I would be interested in sharing genealogy with Wink.

  • Conner Bailey

    12 USMS and FINA World records in Richmond at USMS LC Nationals. What an inspiration for this young whippersnapper (a mere 75 yrs old).