When you ask John Stanton his age, he will proudly tell you, I’m NOT 92, I’m 92 and a half.” For the casual observer, however, you might think John to be decades younger due to his youthful appearance and quiet relish for life. Born in Swampscott in 1926, John dropped out of high school due to the difficult days leading up to World War II but was soon drafted into the army. After military service he began to gain the training and skills to become a mechanical inspector for manufacturers around New England. Aided by evening courses at Lowell Institute School he became a supplier quality engineer, non-degreed. He has lived at Beacon House for 33 years.
When his wife became ill, he took up art as a hobby and discovered his skillful talent for painting, especially Boston scenes. After taking a few courses at Suffolk University, John settled on watercolor as his preferred medium. One of his State House winter images was even selected to be the official holiday greeting card for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
As time passed John’s family and social network tapered away so he sought a way to help him beat the social isolation that can affect many older citizens. He also realized that as he aged he was going to need help with everyday tasks. Beacon Hill Village was just the right resource for John.
Why did you join BHV?
I’m a pretty independent guy and can get almost anywhere using public transportation but it became obvious that I need help getting to and from some places. For example, I was told that I couldn’t have eye surgery unless I had someone to drive me home. I no longer have local family members to call on in these circumstances but I was able to call a Village staff member who made the pick-up so easy. It’s like calling your son or daughter, or even a close neighbor. You just know you can depend on them.
Do you get involved with many of the social events or excursions?
I’m not a very gregarious person* but I do love socializing in a quiet way. I go to events and so enjoy meeting and talking with the many friends I’ve made through Beacon Hill Village. A few weeks ago I went on the trip to a museum in Watertown. It’s so much more enjoyable when you can go with a group.
*Editor’s Note: During the 45 minutes of our interview, six people stopped by to say hello or chat a bit with John. He may not be “gregarious” but he is certainly loved in his community.
What is particularly appealing to you About BHV?
I can go to them with almost any problem and they help me find a solution. They have all of the services I need. Probably most comforting to me is that I no longer fear being alone. Beacon Hill Village members and staff have become my family. They’re always right around when I need them.