Parkville, Maryalnd--The year was 1995. Forrest Gump won the Oscar for Best Picture. The Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. The stock market closed above the 5,000 mark for the first time. And Cal Ripken became baseball's new "Iron Man."
And most importantly, on March 1, Oak Crest welcomed its first resident! That year, an amazing 549 people moved to the campus. They will always be honored as "pioneers," those who embodied our mission to share their gifts to create a community that celebrates life. Gladys Reed is one of those beloved pioneers. She recently shared some fond memories with Jeff Getek, regional communications manager.
Q: You are a true Perry Hall native, correct?
A: Yes! My husband Dave, my father Wilbur Grover, and I moved to Oak Crest on October 11, 1995 from our family house on Joppa Road near Perry Hall Elementary School. Dave and I had three children, and I worked as a teller and assistant manager at Maryland National Bank on Ebenezer Road and volunteered extensively with the Perry Hall Recreation Council.
Q: What are some of your first memories of Oak Crest?
A: We felt welcomed right away because everyone was so friendly! I remember a big snow storm that first winter when we helped each other shovel the cars out. Pastor Klein and Father Joe would hold worship services in the old Banners café before the Chapel was built. And there was all kinds of local entertainment. My daughter even brought students to perform from the dance studio she owned.
Q: What activities have you especially enjoyed?
A: My parents taught me the value of helping others so Oak Crest has given me many opportunities to do that. I was the leader of the Welcoming Committee for 19 years, always a great way to meet people and see the campus. I was on the Concert Committee, helping my dear friend Irma Seitz with everything from planning to publicity. I still like serving as an usher for the Protestant Faith Community and baking cookies during holidays like Valentine's Day and Christmas for my friends at Oak Crest. In fact, the ladies in the Sales Office still call me the "Cookie Lady."
Q: Why has Oak Crest been such a special place to live?
A: My husband used to say that he "loved Oak Crest the day before we moved in." I think of all the fun I've had with friends, from special birthday parties scheduled in the arts and crafts rooms to eating dinner now at the Lakeside Café with new residents. My family is close by, and we have dinners and play games in my apartment home during their visits. Oak Crest has always felt like home to me, and it's the way life should be.