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Jimmy and Marilyn

Meet Jimmy & Marilyn: Overcoming Obstacles Together

Posted February 13, 2014

MOWSF Blog | Senior Stories

Jimmy in his new accessible apartmentMOWSF senior Jimmy and his MOWSF social worker Marilyn seem like old friends, though they’ve only known each other since 2011. The two joke a lot – poking fun at each other and themselves — but they have also faced some serious obstacles together, particularly after Jimmy had to have to have a second amputation, this time on his left leg.

Marilyn knew that Jimmy, now a double amputee, could not return to his old apartment – which required climbing stairs. So she set to work ensuring that, when he came out of recovery, he’d have a place to call home. In the summer of 2013, she helped the veteran move into a handicapped accessible unit in an affordable housing complex. She even helped him acquire some furniture and a hospital-style bed.

Old photos of Jimmy.Jimmy originally hails from Moultrie, Georgia, a city in the Southwest region of the state. His father worked for the Swift Meat Packing Company and his mother was a beautician. Though he still has family there, he decided long ago not to settle there longterm. The culture didn’t suit him. “I grew up drinking from the colored water fountain,” he recalls. “And there were two movie theaters – one for blacks and one for whites.”

In 1961, Jimmy joined the US Navy. He speaks fondly of his four years in the service, which gave him a chance to see the world, including the countries of Greece, France, Italy, Turkey and Morocco – one of his favorite places – where he was stationed for two years.

Standing by the Golden Gate BridgeAfter receiving an honorable discharge, Jimmy returned home to the U.S. He first tried living in Connecticut but found the climate too harsh. He remembered a Potrero Hill native telling him that San Francisco’s climate was not too hot and not too cold, so he moved and has lived in the City ever since.

In 2008 Jimmy retired from 29 years in janitorial services. Today, he loves to watch Westerns like “Gun Smoke” and “Bonanza” and listen to music from his impressive record collection. “I like anything except opera,” he says.

Jimmy and Marilyn

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