Friday, June 6, 2014

Hyde Shuttle Passenger Profile: the Yamasaki's

Hyde Shuttle Helps Seniors Make the Most of Life
Frank and Sadie Yamasaki are regular passengers on the Hyde Shuttle, but, once upon a time, Frank was an art student who had grown tired of the standard, cookie cutter art subjects often selected by professors.   “An artist always looks for something interesting—something out of the ordinary,” he says.   Concurrently, Sadie was a young paralegal who’d been persuaded by her office co-workers to serve as a model for a Seattle art class.  “They told me they’d take me out for drinks afterward,” she explains.  She walked into Frank’s classroom and broke the mold of the typical art model—catching Frank’s eye.   Frank and Sadie have been married for 62 years.

“Interesting” is certainly a term that would describe Frank and Sadie’s many years together.   In their younger days, they filled their time with entertaining, ballroom dancing, involvement with the Buddhist community and family activities.  Frank even had the opportunity to serve as the Art Director of an Academy Award-winning documentary.   They shared a love of food, family, music, art, people and life.
The wheelchair lift makes it easy for Frank to take the shuttle,and Sid
 (volunteer driver) ensures that he is safe and steady as he boards.

But things have changed as they’ve grown older.  Frank is now 90, and Sadie is 83.  Six years ago, Sadie suffered a heart attack and fractured her hip shortly thereafter.  She wasn’t far into recovery when Frank had a stroke, significantly impacting his mobility and short-term memory.  Sadie was unable to lift his heavy walker in and out of her car, but she did not want to become like other senior couples who spend their days at home in the company of the television.  She didn’t want their lives to grow dull.

It was then that Frank and Sadie became committed riders of the Hyde Shuttle program.  They consistently take the shuttle to their Enhance Fitness class at the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center three days per week.   Sadie notes that the class helps with mobility and balance, but, more importantly, it’s about social interaction and community.   They have gotten to know many other seniors throughout the years, and Sadie is quick to add, “Everybody at the Center knows Frank by name!”

The transportation provided by the Hyde Shuttles is just one small-- yet integral— part of their weekly routine.  Sadie expresses much gratitude for the program and praises its volunteer drivers.  She describes them as helpful, thoughtful, friendly, skilled and outstanding.   She labels the program as a “lifesaver.”

Frank and Sadie have not allowed health challenges to take away all the vibrancy of their lives.  They are committed to staying as social and active as they can, and the Hyde Shuttles are there to help them along the way.  Their journeys have been full of many uncommon discoveries—including each other. 


About Me

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“Behind the Wheel” offers stories, reflections, news and updates about Sound Generations’ (formerly Senior Services') Transportation Program. Throughout King County, our inspiring volunteers provide needed mobility to local seniors, supporting them in their efforts to remain independent, healthy, and happy. Please drop by to read more about the unique experiences of our volunteers, clients and staff!
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