Sunday, August 09, 2015

Retired BJ printer Hugh Downing and wife Sharon,  who live happily ever after in The Villages, Florida, are ending their Summer Visiting Relations Tour.

They have visited their son, Chris, in Hudson; son Jonathan in Erie, Pa.; sons Mark and Ben in Toledo and Vienna, Virginia, and Sharon’s sister in Galion, Ohio, where Sharon grew up.

Quips Hugh: “By the time we make the rounds of the children (all four sons and their wives and children), I’m pretty beat.”

Sharon’s parents live in Bradenton, Florida, which is 125 miles from The Villages, aka Fun City for Senior Citizens. There are 114,000 residents, all 55 or older in order to qualify to buy a home there, with 50,000 golf carts, which roam the streets like a city of pod people. Hugh and Sharon have two golf carts and an automobile. It’s simpler and cheaper to get around The Villages in golf carts. You save the automobile for road trips.

Hugh and Sharon have been in the city of 365/24/7 fun, with free concerts and dancing every night on several town squares, for about a dozen years.

Hugh has survived two heart attacks and a stroke, and cataract surgery in both eyes, but still manages to play a decent game of golf on the 47 courses in The Villages.

Another retired printer, Carl Nelson, has a father-in-law in The Villages.

Paula Stone Tucker and John Olesky got together with the Downings in December 2014, January, February and March 2015 and Paula in June 2015 in The Villages. John and Hugh golfed together every week for three months.

John and his late wife Monnie had a reunion with the Downings in early 2000 on Siesta Key, Florida, when the Oleskys were staying at Sea Castle on the beach and the Downings were in the late printer Bill Gorrell’s rentals just across the street.

Before migrating to The Villages, the Downings lived in the city of Medina during Hugh’s BJ days. They had three houses there, one at a time, including one they built on three-fourths of an acre.

Hugh is among the 45 retired printers who won the healthcare lawsuit against the BJ in 2012, which restored their prescription coverage to the retirement-day level of $5 per prescription. Five Guild retirees, including John Olesky, joined the lawsuit and won restoration to their retirement-day $2 prescriptions (generic or name brand) and Medicare plus AARP secondary coverage, all paid for by the BJ.

If you want to contact Hugh and Sharon, their phone number is (352) 789-7481. Their email address is Their U.S. mail address is 17900 S.E. 87th Bourne Ave., The Villages, FL 32159.

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