Early one Thursday morning in September, we sit and chat with Jeff P. and Mike M., who were among the first Ranchers accepted at Rainbow Acres. Jeff is enthusiastic and high-energy. Mike is quiet and puts thought into each of his answers. Seated comfortably on the Patrick House patio, they talk about life at Rainbow over the years.
RA: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
JP: It don’t know what to say. I like the Beach Boys.
MM: I like Elvis.
RA: Is there a TV show you enjoy watching?
JP: M. A. S. H.
RA: Do you have a favorite color or favorite food?
JP: Purple and pizza.
MM: Red and steak.
RA: Do you consider yourself a person of faith?
RA: What does that mean to you?
JP: Being nice to people. And I read my Bible.
MM: I go to Beaver Creek Baptist Church. I’ve gone for a long time.
JP: I go to Parkside. I like their music.
MM: I know the people at Beaver Creek.
RA: So, the two of you have been here at Rainbow Acres for quite a long time.
MM: Yep. 1974.
RA: You’ve been here almost fifty years.
RA: What do you remember from when you first came to Rainbow?
JP: I was kind of scared. It took me awhile to be okay.
MM: We lived in trailers. I lived in Hopi House with Roberta Patrick and Ellie.
JP: I lived in Hopi House, too. And we had horses.
RA: What activities did you enjoy doing?
JP: I put the pots and pans away in the kitchen.
MM: I rode the horses.
JP: I went to Walt Disney World, too. On a rancher vacation.
MM: Rodeos and Go Kart races.
RA: Do you ride in the rodeos, or do you watch them?
MM (laughing): I watch.
RA: These days, what do you do during your day?
JP: I still work in the kitchen.
RA: Do you like it there?
JP: Yes. It’s fun.
MM: I do beadwork.
RA: You make the beaded banners, right?
RA: For people reading who aren’t sure what that is, that’s where you follow a pattern. You string different colored beads like the pattern shows you, and you end up with a picture of something. Like putting a puzzle together, but with beads?
RA: Is there something especially good that has happened to you in your time at Rainbow?
JP: I was Rancher of the Month.
MM: Our ranch Christmas parties.
RA: Over the years, I’m sure you made some good friends. Can you tell us about them?
JP: My best friends are Marcus and Darren. They are good friends.
MM: I look out for Nancy. I get her lunch and bring it to her. I like doing that.
RA: Who are the caregivers you’ve enjoyed working with?
JP: I like Shawn.
RA: What’s your favorite thing about living in Patrick House and Aria House?
JP: Talking with my friends.
MM: Talking with Greg. We’re going to a baseball game next year.
RA: Is there something you’ve learned in your life that you are glad you did?
JP: How to read.
MM: I’ve learned I like it here.
RA: Do you have any dreams or goals for your future?
JP: I’d like to make new friends.
MM: I just like it all. Like it is.
RA: If there is someone out there thinking about coming here to live, what would you say to them?
JP: Welcome to Rainbow Acres.
MM: Come to Rainbow Acres. It’s really nice. You’ll meet a lot of new people.