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MOWSF senior Walter has been a fan of the San Francisco Giants since the team came to town in 1958. And even before that, the 82-year-old says he remembers listening to games on the radio, when both the Giants and the Dodgers were New York teams. Walter has seen the World Series Champs play at all three of their SF homes – Seals Stadium, Candlestick Park and AT&T Park, though he hasn’t been able to go to a game for a few years.
Walter, who lives in Outer Sunset with his wife, loves talking baseball with his MOWSF delivery driver Jim, who has been bringing meals to him for four years. “We hit it off because he is very well up on sports – more than I am now,” says Walter. Along with talking about sports, Jim sometimes brings gifts. “He’s brought us plums from his own tree,” says Walter’s wife. “He’s very thoughtful.”
And then last year, as part of a Random Acts of Kindness campaign, Jim was able to give an extra special present to Walter – an SF Giants jacket. Sponsored by the Brin Wojcicki Foundation, the campaign let meal delivery drivers, volunteers and social workers pick out special presents for MOWSF seniors. Walter says he almost fainted when he saw the jacket. “I couldn’t believe it!” he says. “I put it on, and I was speechless.” When he wears it around the neighborhood, he tells people it’s a gift from MOWSF.
“Meals On Wheels has done a lot for us since I’ve become older and haven’t been able to do as much,” Walter says. Volunteers have dusted his house, made repairs and even hung blinds in his bedroom. He is especially appreciative of holiday visits, as it is too difficult for him to go to church now. “On Thanksgiving, volunteers came with their children and sat on the sofa and talked,” he says. “We had a really nice time.”
Before he retired, Walter spent 37 years working as an engineer, inspecting buildings for a large real estate company. Then in 1994, while checking some electrical work, he was electrocuted. When the shocks subsided, he couldn’t control his legs and vertebrae in his spine had broken. Many surgeries later, Walter gained back some mobility, but he had to retire. “I still have to be careful and not make sudden movements with my head,” he says. “But I can walk. I think it’s all those years of walking around inspecting buildings all day – they kept my legs strong.”
As for the SF Giant’s, Walter’s favorite player is Pedro Sandoval. “I like that he likes children,” he says. He also greatly admires former pitcher Dave Dravecky, who overcame great obstacles but eventually lost his arm.