Calhoun Magazine

January - February 2017

Dalton Daily CItizen, Calhoun Magazine

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T here's something about driving along these back roads. The long, white clunky van is toasty warm inside. The driver maneuvers the mammoth vehicle around sharp curves, down winding roads, and up steep, gutted driveways. Once parked, he grabs a SODVWLFUHF\FOHGJURFHU\VWRUHEDJDQGSXWVLQ¿UVWDVHDOHG hot meal, then a square of homemade cornbread, a shiny red apple, and tops it off with a carton of cold milk. "They make sure all the food groups are covered," he FRQ¿UPV The door of the home opens, and a head peeks out. The Gordon County Senior Center provides many programs for the county's senior adults including exercise FODVVHVOHJDODLGDVVLVWDQFH¿HOGWULSVELQJRJDPHV evening dances, free lunches, health screenings, and various VHPLQDUVRQVXFKWRSLFVDVWD[DVVLVWDQFH¿UHVDIHW\DQG driver safety. It has a fully equipped exercise room, pool tables, card tables, and computer lab. The Center is also responsible for delivering meals to home bound citizens on a daily basis through the Meals on Wheels program. Recently retired, Jim Hays fervently delivers hot meals WRKRPHERXQGVHQLRUV¿YHGD\VDZHHN+HKDVPHWPDQ\ wonderful seniors—homebound and at the Center. "I've been all over the world," Hays says after stopping the van to allow a confusion of Guinea fowl to cross the road. "I was an exchange student in the Soviet Union. I've been to Finland and Spain. I helped build a plant in Brazil for OMC [Outboard Marine Corporation], been to Toronto, Canada and Monterrey, Mexico, and visited Japan three times, but I really love Gordon County." +HVPLOHVDVDOOWKHPHPRULHVÀRDWE\ "I always came back to Calhoun, Georgia. Now, every week, I get to go to Resaca, Sugar Valley, Plainville, and Oostanaula," he continues. "It's just beautiful. I could show you roads with views, hills and mountains, and you would be awed by it." He arrives at the Gordon County Senior Center around 7:30 a.m. to help prepare the meals and is normally back from delivering meals by noon. His "hot" route is the same every day, but the "frozen" route takes him all over Gordon County. All total, he delivers around one hundred meals a week on his county route. Renee Timms also delivers meals IRUWKH&HQWHU¿YHGD\VDZHHN+HUURXWHFRYHUVWKHFLW\ residents. Hays was working sixty hours a week as Production Manager when he retired from Heatmax, a manufacturing company in Dalton. Before that job, he enjoyed a long history of employment with OMC—twenty-four years, eventually becoming Production Manager. He was the ¿UVWHQJLQHHUVHQWGRZQWR&DOKRXQIURP20&(YLQUXGH in Milwaukee in August of 1983. He also worked as &RUSRUDWH3ODQW(QJLQHHUDW0RUJDQ&RUSRUDWLRQDQG Production Manager at Suzuki. When Jim's daughter was eighteen months old, he and his late wife, Joann, moved to 8 | Calhoun Magazine | January/February 2017

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