Fred Scott is known as the "Mayor of Meadowview", due to his natural inclination for discourse and unanimous popularity among the other residents. Small gestures, such as a neighbor making him a home-cooked meal, make an important impression on Fred. He laughs in disbelief as he boasts of the kindness his fellow residents bestow upon him. He loves to talk, and his life as a fireman, furniture mover, and truck driver have left him with many stories to tell. His social life begins every morning at 10:30am when all the residents of Meadowview Apartments gather in the common room to wait for the mailman. "I need to be with people I can talk to. I like to get along with everyone."
Fred holds those he loves especially close. His wife, Florence, bore Fred 8 children. Their daughter who passed away at the age of 2 still holds a special place in Fred's heart and her photograph hangs on his living room wall. Fred spent most of his life with Florence; he speaks of her often, and calls her "Mumma" as the whole family must’ve referred to her.
"I'm spared for a reason, but I don't know what it is," Fred says as he contemplates his new life upon Florence's passing November of 2010; he confesses it feels as though he’s living without an essential part of his own being. To Fred, Florence is a constant. She is always with him. She followed him up to Waldoboro, and they spent their lives together raising their children in central Maine, scraping together a living as Fred was compelled to retire early after the Boston riots against firemen 1971. As a couple, they found solace in their supportive friends and friendly community at church. But as with many families, they met with their fair share of dysfunction.
Later in life, Fred and Florence tried their luck at many different living situations. They spent time in affordable housing but were also invited into a few of their children’s homes over the years. At one point, they even moved to their son’s home in Indiana hoping they would be able to split their time between both their son’s and one of their daughter’s families who was located just over the Illinois line. Much to Fred and Florence’s dismay the two children were on bad terms with each other and both were unwilling to bury the hatchet in order to help foster a situation where Fred and Florence could develop a relationship with their grandchildren. Instead their kids used them as a means to hurt each other. Fred and Florence moved back to Maine, and it was in 2009 that Florence’s Alzheimer’s worsened.
When Florence passed away a year later, Fred hoped that her funeral would finally bring the children together. He was grieving, making arrangements for the funeral (one that is still not fully paid for as his children have not settled on exactly how much each one is willing to pay), and trying to gather his family together; trying to give them a reason to put their differences aside. This was not to be, and as Fred tells his story without pointing a finger of guilt at any one person, it’s clear that he remains hopeful that his children will find that peace with each other one day.
After the funeral, Fred moved in to his daughter’s home. Fred found himself alone in a house with a son-in-law whose behavior struck Fred as disrespectful and unacceptable. “Every sentence he used foul language, and I don’t like to be around that. I couldn’t talk to him,” Fred explains. It was a difficult year dealing with the loss of his soul-mate and finding himself with no one to talk to. “I never thought I’d be without Mumma, I never thought I’d be the last one left.” Statistically it is far more probable for a wife to outlive her husband, and Fred’s sentiment is a common one among elderly widowers. But his faith and his hope helped him to a better place and he applied again for affordable housing. It was just a few months after that he was accepted for a unit in Avesta’s Meadowview Apartments. Now it seems Fred has found the right place to settle. He may not reconcile his children’s quarrels, and he will always miss his Florence, but in a home filled with colorful characters of whom Fred claims are “all wonderful and filled with great stories,” Fred is both engaged and engaging in the lives of his peers; people that he loves to talk to.
resident, Meadowview in Gray