The decision to move into a nursing home is often difficult for both the resident and family but the Longs made the most of what life had given them. You might even say they took lemons and made lemonade, only in this case, they made ice cream.
When she was alive, Ruth made lots of ice cream, George said Tuesday on one of the hottest days of the summer. So, while she was a resident at the home, George took a 1920 one-cylinder, 3 h.p., International kerosene engine, some junk around the farm and two, 2 1/2 gal. White Mountain hand-cranked ice cream freezers and built a gasoline-powered ice cream freezer. He pulled it on a trailer to Brazil and made ice cream for everyone at Holly Hills.
In the process of caring for Ruth, George made friends at the home.
"I have had the privilege of meeting lots of nice people at Holly Hills," he said.
George is on oxygen now. He carries his tank with him. It is strapped to his nose by about 6 feet of clear plastic breathing tube.
He can't pull the fancy ice cream maker to Brazil any longer, so his sons, Dick and Jack,do the driving and tend the freezer behind the building while residents watch in air-conditioned comfort.
On this day, one of the watchers is Herman Liechty, an old school pal and neighbor of George's. Herman is now a resident at the home. Another resident, Ray Schopmeyer, has the best view, right in front of the full-length glass door. Neither Herman or Ray are too excited about eating home-made vanilla ice cream, but they enjoy watching the contraption as it churns.
Why use such a fancy set-up to crank ice cream?
Dick thinks a moment and says, "We're lazy" and then laughs with the reporter.
What flavor is on the menu?
You can have any flavor you want, as long as it's vanilla.