John Trask came to Payson a little more than five years ago from New York — he was tired of shoveling snow. He is a seasonal resident, spending winters in the Rim Country. While he doesn’t want to shovel snow anymore, he doesn’t want to be idle either, so he became a volunteer with Hospice.
“I thought it would be nice to provide some cheer and diversion for the patients,” he said.
Trask said five of his six children moved west and he was passing through to Snowflake to visit his daughter when he discovered Payson. He now makes his home here from October through May, then returns to New York for the summer.
Trask has worked with eight to 10 Hospice patients over the years, and has been visiting with Floyd Landers since this past spring, though Landers has been with Hospice for about a year-and-a-half. There weren’t enough volunteers available to have someone see Landers before Trask started visiting.
Both are retired military. Trask is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and Landers was in the U.S. Army during World War II. When asked what they visit about, war stories are not among the topics. Instead, they talk about the weather, politics and baseball.
Trask also tries to bring Landers ice cream when he visits on Wednesdays, which they share.
Landers is fortunate to have both his daughter, Lisa Boyle, and granddaughter, Stephanie Landers, living in town. In fact, Stephanie lives in the same house as her grandfather — he has the upstairs and she has the downstairs.
Landers has been living in the same house for years. In fact, he used to have a radiator repair service in his garage — the address sign is a radiator. It was the only advertising the town would let him have on the street when it first incorporated.
It was enough — all the gas stations would send people to him for radiator work.
He came to Payson in 1966 and ran a couple of different gas stations for several years before starting his radiator business. He retired at the age of 80 — his 92nd birthday is Dec. 20.
In addition to having Trask, his daughter and granddaughter visiting with him, through Hospice, Landers has a nurse come check on him twice a week and the Hospice chaplain, Charlie Wilcox, also visits and often brings a sundae from Dairy Queen for Landers. He also has a housekeeper, but not through Hospice.
“I like Hospice real well,” Landers said.