Older and Wiser

The Little Gray Box

The day was June 1, 1963.

The first 3×5 index card in “The Little Gray Box” belongs to, Pauline Crume, otherwise known as Polly.

To my knowledge and as the story has been told, Polly moved in and slept in the back office to listen for/and answer the switchboard. (Think Ruth Buzzi’s, Ernestine, “One ringy dingy”) The switchboard was a lot of cords that you stuck in the holes and flip a switch to connect the calls.

Polly was also the “security guard” as there were no locks on the doors when VVV first opened.

Polly lived in rooms 210-212 in the custodial apartments.

Polly was considered the “house mother” for the custodial apartment resident’s.

She always had her finger on the pulse of the apartments. And, if truth be told, the whole campus!

Polly knew EVERYTHING!

Polly was the hostess that everyone wanted to be, she played this very important role at Valley View Village for many years. 

She made sure that if you had family staying overnight, you had a roll away bed with linens for them. (even if she took them from our new stock for the health center)

If you needed to feed your guest, she made sure the dining room had a place for them to sit.

She participated with the Guild, rolled bandages for the Red Cross out of the old sheets, active with Chapel and remembered people on their birthdays.

She even “RANG” in Christmas morning with her Christmas bells. Up and down the hallways in the apartment area she would walk, ringing the bells and saying “Merry Christmas”.

Polly’s family included 2 sons and 2 daughters, grandchildren and many great grandchildren who grew up around Valley View Village.  Polly’s sister, Ruth and her husband Don, moved to Valley View and were able to spend their time here together with Polly.

Polly’s daughters, Carol and Shirley and their husbands, would often come to see if Polly would want to go for a ride or an ice cream and most of the time she would say that she had 20 minutes.

20 minutes before she needed to ring the chimes, in the main dining room. The chimes indicated it was time to pray before the meal being served.

According to the 3×5 index card, Polly moved to the health center on September 26, 1999 and resided there until she passed away on September 28, 2001.

I have no doubt that a “Part” of Polly will always be a part of Valley View Village.   

On a side note: We all know what a small world this is. When Stephanie Proper, our Executive Director moved to Iowa with her husband and 2 daughters to become part of the Valley View family, her husband Rob began working at Air Gas in Ankeny. His co- worker/supervisor was none other than Polly’s great grandson Tucker.

Bea Baker has faithfully served Valley View Village in a variety of roles for almost 40 years.