Blue Zones: Tucker Dean

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This little face makes me strongly desire Klamath’s success as a Blue Zone community. I want Tucker to know that health, safety and well being are shared values here.

So here are a few words directed to him a decade from now.

Dear Tucker,

I’m writing this on the final day of focus groups for the Blue Zones initiative readiness assessment in Klamath. That was 10 years ago, and I hope we still call this community home.

The focus groups were interesting and thought-provoking. City Councilwoman Trish Seiler reminded us to think about access for people with disabilities when planning the built environment. It’s hard to believe that we still need to be reminded of these simple things.

Our population is aging daily, and the human body has many frailties. I hope your body, mind and spirit are sound. I also hope that you are thankful to God for your good health and the abundant opportunities you are given.

Klamath has always been a place of possibilities, but they all involve hard work. That’s one of the great things about the Blue Zones — success can be personal, family, professional or communitywide.

Your family loves you more than you will ever quite realize. They are a sounding board when you have questions, and a true solace when the world does not seem fair.

I hope you have an appropriate peer group, who laugh, play and feel secure. You model behaviors from the people with whom you associate. Please pick your friends in a manner favoring quality over quantity.

Your school setting should be different than what existed a decade ago. Healthier food choices should abound. You have probably had Blue Zones Challenge segments in your school day. I’m guessing that you get plenty of opportunity to run, walk and ride your bike. Keep after these activities as you age.

Technology has changed in ways I cannot even imagine. Remember that human interaction, in a face-to-face manner, is powerful. Put away your technology and enjoy time with your family and friends. These times are creating meaningful memories.

In most situations you can choose how to respond. Please try to be positive, proactive and thankful. It’s not always easy, but it is a favor we can give ourselves.

It would be good to start thinking about what you want in life. Do you want to go on to college? Would you like to have a family of your own someday? Do you have a special interest that you would like to know more about?

I know you are a fine young man. The world is full of choices. Ten years ago, I chose to help bring Blue Zones to Klamath with you in mind. I hope you choose to do something today to help someone else, too.

With love and great anticipation,
Your weird spinster aunt

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