Oakhurst Qigong Group Honors Elder Goose

Members of the Oakhurst Wild Goose Qigong Practice Group were delighted to celebrate John Masterson's 86th birthday with cards and balloons at their Tuesday practice before his weekend family celebrations began at the end of August. Barbara Leath and Jennie Flaherty, facilitators of the Caregiver Respite Group, brought birthday cake to share with the rest of the Practice Group as well as with the staff and members of the Sierra Senior Center who were present during the  Senior Nutrition Program.

When asked about his life, John says, "I was born in Oklahoma. At the age of two, I left the tornadoes for Madera County and never went back." After completing 8th grade in Nipanawahsee, "I went to work, any kind of work. At age 19, I started working in the woods for Albie, Leonard, and Raymond Gaylord as a knot-bumper, doing the final limbing of the trees before they were loaded for the mill. They put me in, saw I could do it, and they kept me. I logged locally, over to Lake Arrowhead, Shaver Lake, and Beasore Meadows. It was good work, it kept me out of trouble."
John was well-liked as a worker. He did everything else to earn a living including picking cotton and grapes in the Madera area. At age 22, he met his wife Kathryn with whom he shared the next 60 years until she passed away three and a half years ago. "I miss her as much now as the day she died," says John who eventually started coming to the Senior Center because of encouragement from a friend. He joined the Qigong Practice Group because,"It was something different. I stayed, and here I am."
John has come to almost every practice. He has the distinction of attending the most practices of any member of the Flock, including the practice coordinator. "It's something different for me to do. I feel better, there's not as many aches and pains, and it's good for my bad back," he says.
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