This is “old news.” You’ll love it anyway. It’s a story of Old Glory and it’ll touch your sense of patriotism and your heart.
Yes, the October issue of Sun Lakes Splash was the same high-quality newspaper you expect. But for many, how it hit your driveway was unique.
Go ahead, brag. You’ve had 98-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor and decorated World War II Navy aviator Jack Holder as your paperboy.
“Life is a funny thing,” says Holder, with a smile as big as his native Texas. “Most people experience delivering newspapers when they’re much younger. I waited until I was 98.”
Credit Don Robins for your special delivery. He’s Jack’s close friend and an active Sun Lakes Rotary Club member. “Jack is an important part of our club,” says Robins, the Rotary Club’s director of education services. “Delivering newspapers helps others, and I knew it would help Jack, because we have fun doing it.”
Don was right. COVID-19 confinement has been hard on Jack, taking away the public appearances and military events which keep him young. “It’s been hell, because I’m not one to sit around and watch TV,” Jack admits. “But not being allowed at the last minute onto the Battleship Missouri in Pearl Harbor for the 75th commemoration of the end of World War II was absolutely the worst.”
For most of the last 35 years, Jack has quietly been our neighbor in Chandler/Sun Lakes. It was only a few years ago he finally got comfortable telling others he survived 315 U.S. Navy flight missions, the Pearl Harbor attack, Battle of Midway, a deadly crash as a corporate pilot, and more. Ironically, now, storytelling is what fuels his life’s engine.
To survive 2020 and beyond, we have enlisted Jack on a digital mission. He now uses technology to do virtual presentations for schools, organizations, and corporations. We’re producing a TV documentary on his life. He has a website, jackholder.org, for booking events and selling his book Fear, Adrenaline and Excitement.
“Alexander Graham Bell is rolling over in his grave,” laughs Jack. May it be many years before Jack Holder knows what that’s like.
For more information about Sun Lakes Rotary Club meetings through Zoom, until we can reunite at Palo Verde Country Club, please contact Club President Jon Lyons at [email protected] or visit www.sunlakesrotary.com or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/SunLakesRotaryClub.